by Colin Fox
A shocking analysis from the TUC – using data from from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found that workers in Britain, virtually alone across 35 OECD nations, have seen average wages plunge in value since 2007. Only workers in the crisis hit economies of Greece and Portugal have also seen average wages fall during the last decade.
By contrast average wages in all 35 countries surveyed grew by 6.7%, in Germany they grew by 13.9% and in Poland by 23%.
The wage slump in Britain – which took place under both Labour and Tory Westminster Governments – is explained by the loss of full-time jobs that enjoyed trade union protection and higher rates of pay have been replaced by casualisation with part-time zero hour contracts, low pay and no trade union protection.
But profits for the bosses have raced ahead in Britain during the same period. And today for example Lloyds Banking Group announced 3,000 redundancies at the same time as it reported doubling pre-tax profits.
Unemployment may have fallen since 2007 but ‘under-employment’ has soared as workers seeking more hours are forced to settle for low paid part-time casual jobs. The persecution of people on benefits has also added to the downward pressure on wage rates.
Since 2007 the financial services sector, the oil industry, local government, the civil service, the newspaper industry and retail outlets have all suffered significant job losses where full time, better paid, unionised posts have gone and the workers made redundant have found themselves employed thereafter in supermarkets, coffee bars, retail outlets, care sector or as agency staff.
The arrival of migrant labour from across the EU has also undoubtedly led to downward pressure on wage rates.
Defective by Design
The point is that none of this happened by accident. It is the outcome designed by neo-liberal economic policies favoured by all the four mainstream, bosses parties in Scotland: Tory, Labour, Liberal and SNP.
So the next time you hear Theresa May or Nicola Sturgeon or Kezia Dugdale brag about theirs being ‘business friendly parties’ you have been warned – “business friendly”, is no friend to workers.
The need to fight back against job losses, pay cuts, neo-liberal policies and bosses parties is more important than ever and that is what the Scottish Socialist Party is there to help.
Colin Fox is the joint national spokesperson of the SSP. Twitter, Blog