This Isn’t a Cost of Living Crisis – It’s a Class War

From rising bills to falling wages to the P&O scandal, the Tory government is presiding over a collapsing economy for workers – and it can only be fought by trade union organisation.

Boris Johnson addresses delegates during the Conservative Party Spring Conference at Blackpool Winter Gardens on 19 March 2022. (Ian Forsyth / Getty Images)

When Martin Lewis is calling for systemic political change, surely we have reached a point where even the establishment must sit up and recognise that their grip on power and wealth is under threat. The government are once again setting out their narrative that we must all play our part in bailing out the UK economy—but this time it just isn’t going to wash.

The energy giants, oil companies, and supermarkets have all announced record profits, and bankers’ bonuses have been restored. This is not a cost of living crisis—it’s the cost of electing the Tories.

This government is forcing families to choose between heating and eating.

This government is forcing people to turn down pasta at foodbanks because they can’t afford the gas or electricity to cook it.

This government could have stepped in and halted the outrageous dismissal of P&O workers last week—but they didn’t.

This government are so arrogant that they believe we are once again going to swallow this, and in doing so, accept that millions of people—the majority of whom are in work—will live in desperation and poverty.

Their political class are organised. They have financial and media support. They act on a global basis. That’s why it is crucial we respond in the strongest possible way, and that means mobilising people and building collectivism—led by fighting trade unions.

When a company like P&O feels so comfortable with the support they have in government that they can openly break the law by firing workers on the spot, via Zoom, the only answer is for the whole trade union movement to get behind RMT and Nautilus. This means financial support, political lobbying, supporting demonstrations, and backing any form of action taken. The lack of response from the Tories sends a clear message to every worker in the UK: you could be next.

The reality is that every single factor in the UK is rigged against workers. This is exactly why the CWU has been calling for a New Deal for Workers and a new social settlement for the country.

We simply cannot afford to sit around waiting and hoping for political change. We must deliver this in every workplace and every community in the UK. On 18 June, the TUC have called a national demonstration in London. It is critical we deliver the biggest possible turnout on this day, but more importantly, that we take actions on an ongoing basis that deliver change.

The CWU has made it clear to employers that there can be no excuses for not putting proper pay rises on the table. Companies such as Royal Mail Group and BT Group have made huge profits from the pandemic and our members have made huge personal sacrifices in delivering these profits and keeping the country connected.

This is a watershed moment for the whole trade union movement. If we cannot step up when workers are fired on the spot or when nurses can’t pay their rent, we will become irrelevant.

It’s time for collective campaigning and collective action. Join a union.