[A-List] UK corporate state: class war from above
Michael.Keaney at mbs.fi
Fri Mar 15 06:02:17 MST 2002
No 10 failing to help lowest paid, says ex-adviser
Friday March 15, 2002
Downing Street is accused of seeking to drive down the wages of low paid workers in a scathing attack launched today by a former No 10 adviser.
Jon Cruddas, now Labour MP for Dagenham, warns that some members of the government are prepared to see the earnings of employees fall to make privatisation succeed when their jobs are transferred to private companies.
The result, he says, is the effective acceptance of "growing inequality" by prominent new Labour figures, when the party is officially committed to a fairer Britain.
Mr Cruddas was involved in bitter internal battles over the minimum wage and employment rights during Labour's first term as he fought attempts by Blairite officials and ministers to accommodate Confederation of British Industry objections.
His warning will fuel union concerns that Downing Street is seeking to renege on promises by health secretary Alan Milburn and local government secretary Stephen Byers to protect the terms and conditions of public staff transferred to private firms.
"Why are elements in the Government so hostile to labour market regulation? And why is it that every single labour market initiative has to be fought line by line, almost street by street?" writes Mr Cruddas in the latest edition of Tribune, the leftwing weekly.
"Why are we now seeking to rewrite, or de-write, earlier commitments made to protect people at work?
"This ideological hostility to regulation is not simply the product of deference to corporate wealth and power. Its basis lies in the conception of the 'new economy' that underpins much government language and action."
Mr Cruddas, a former academic, says official statistics collected in the labour force survey show claims by adherents of the so-called new economy, who said jobs would be replaced by self-employment, were exaggerated, if not wrong. Opposing the protection of pay and pensions for those in services contracted to private firms, he adds, will hit Labour's traditional voters hardest.
"At best, it tacitly supports the growing inequality. At worst, it is culpable in a strategy that actively intensifies the exploitation of big parts of the working class," he says.
Full article at:
Mercuria Business School
michael.keaney at mbs.fi
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