This week, delegates for the annual conference of the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) are meeting in Southport to discuss the next steps forward for the union.
This conference takes place at a time that represents the deepest crisis in the history of British capitalism. While out-of-touch big business politicians fling mud at each other over Brexit, the working class is not provided with any solution to their problems.
Back in the real world, our class continues to face increasing daily pressures in our workplaces and communities. This cannot go on. We need to fight back.
Socialist Appeal supporters at the BFAWU conference are organising a fringe meeting for the Labour4Clause4 campaign, with speakers including Ian Hodson (BFAWU president).
We encourage conference delegates and all our readers in Southport to come along and discuss why we need to bring back Clause IV.
BFAWU CONFERENCE FRINGE
BRING BACK CLAUSE IV - OUR FIGHT FOR SOCIALISM
Tuesday 11th June
5.30pm, after conference end
International Bar, Prince of Wales Hotel
Lord Street, Southport
Ian Hodson, BFAWU President
Mike Hogan, Labour4Clause4 campaign and Liverpool Wavertree CLP
Maciej Krymieniecki, BFAWU conference delegate and Welsh Young Labour
Anyone who has worked in a precarious job knows that management will usually treat workers not as human beings with thoughts and feelings, but as tools that they can squeeze greater profits from. These bosses live in ivory towers, and have often never even set foot on the shop floor.
It is a scandal that some of my co-workers who do the exact same job as me earn only £4.35 per hour, simply because they’re under 18. One of my workmates was promised a higher wage upon fully completing her kitchen training. But management simply continue to ignore her requests to work in the kitchen, so that they can save money by not providing the promised wage increase.
Today’s increasingly stressful workplaces offer a million more stories like these. This in turn has created a general mood of anger on the shop floor - a feeling that something needs to change.
Organise the fightback
As individuals, we can do very little about this. But together, we can begin the fightback for better working and living conditions.
Workers organised in the BFAWU have provided a marvellous example to those in other industries, showing how some of the most exploited and downtrodden workers can begin to organise.
Under the BFAWU banner, (mostly young) workers in Wetherspoons and McDonald’s restaurants have taken strike action - and won. This shows that we can fight back and come out victorious. These strikes are the music of the future - a prelude of things to come as workers get organised and realise the real power in their hands.
Big problems require big solutions. The mood in workplaces across the country is becoming increasingly militant and confident. Recent disputes confirm that workers are ready to fight, often much more than anyone expects, when a strong lead is given. Any trace of pessimism or defeatism won’t cut it any more - we need organisation and action.
We need a fighting leadership across the trade union movement, in preparation for the battles to come. This must be built by uniting and mobilising workers around bold socialist policies that put people before profit.
We must start by putting such demands at the forefront of our unions’ programmes, as well as that of the Labour Party. By kicking out the Blairites and fighting for socialism, we can bring in a radical Labour government that provides a strong political voice for the working class. In this way, we can begin to fight back and put an end to capitalism’s whirlpool of misery and chaos once and for all.