Safe and Equal

A comrade writes,

I think the demand to raise SSP is very weak. the only way of maximising the chance workers will selfisolate when they have signs of Coronavirus infection is to ensure they can take leave on full pay. the demand for all outsourced NHS workers to get full pay if they need to selfisolate (contained in this letter) was implemented by NHS bosses in early march and has existed for substantive staff before then so that bit doesn’t make sense. agency workers in nhs still dont get full pay to selfisolate which is a problem and there is an issue of whether outsourced workers know about this provision. but the big problem on sick pay is in the care sector where almost half a million care workers have no occupational sick pay and are working with people most likely to die if they get the virus. It’s also a big problem in supermarkets, logistics and delivery sectors and manufacturing, including food manufacturing. the government is very vulnerable on this issue but labour and the unions (apart from a few exceptions pcs, rmt, unison north west region) are very weak. more on this here:

I am of the view that SSP must become a state benefit (and increased) but the writing above addresses the short term issues about UK public health and the adverse impact that low wages has on the decisions to self-isolate and co-operate with the lockdown. ( The quote refers to a letter that I do not have.) …

Getting welfare politics right and wrong

Getting welfare politics right and wrong

Harman’s interview on the Andrew Marr show where she challenges Labour to leave its comfort zone by being shit to welfare recipients is a disgrace and arguing for abstention on the Tories new welfare bill. I am one of many who argue that Labour should come to terms with losing the 2015 election before we elect a leader, but the Harman leadership repeats the mistake of 2010, by having the Leadership election immediately and then in lieu of a debate we have a brutal illustration of the power of Labour’s leader position exercised by someone who only holds the position on an interim basis. This is deliberate, some in the Leadership don’t want to share that power with either the long term membership or its newly energised members. They substitute a personality beauty contest for a rigorous and accountable policy framework which dis-empowers the activists. She’s wrong on policy and wrong on strategy. …