You might expect Conservatives to resist workers’ rights, but Labour? Only the Greens stand with strikers


The Green party understands, and has long understood, that the climate crisis and the cost of living crisis are interlinked. Our economy isn’t currently working for people, or the planet, when it could and should be doing both.

People are getting desperate. They can see the world is changing around them but don’t often feel as if they’re included in the conversation. We’ve seen that over the past few months as people have started to organise during the joint hottest summer on record.

When wages are low but profits are high, it’s pretty easy to see what’s going wrong. A small group of people at the top are taking a massively disproportionate share. And while these people are free to pollute more and more, the poorest are pushed even deeper into poverty. Twelve years of Tory rule means that whether you’re a nurse, someone with a job on the railways or a postal worker, you’ve felt undervalued and been underpaid. The work has got harder, faster and more demanding, while the monetary compensation and the working conditions have failed to keep up for most of us.

This needs to be rebalanced. Higher wages create a more equal society where everyone can have a decent standard of living without pushing the planet off a cliff. A higher wage economy is a greener economy.

There are so many solutions available but unexplored, from investing in renewables to insulating homes. We need a windfall tax on the dirty profits of fossil fuels, and to close the gaps in the government’s plans that simply further support oil and gas companies. The Green party will bring back the £20 universal credit uplift – and double it  while making the long-term case for a universal basic income.

Sadly, real solutions to people’s actual problems play second fiddle to grandstanding and distraction. The government would rather create scapegoats out of trans people or migrants than face up to its own systemic failures. With her half-hearted energy bills freeze, Liz Truss is offering a sticking plaster for ordinary people while handing over sacks of public money to the fossil fuel giants with no strings attached. And when it comes to workers, the government still wheels out tired old phrases like “get round the negotiating table” while suggesting it may further erode workers’ ability to organise, strike and protest.

You’d expect this from the Tories, but even Labour has been hesitant about backing unions standing up for their members, and eager to discipline its MPs who join picket lines. This smacks of opportunism and grasping for power without any real desire for change. Backing striking workers who face real cuts to their pay and conditions is an essential part of standing in solidarity with those facing the terrible hardships that the cost of living crisis is creating. All workers deserve decent pay and to feel we can do our jobs safely and to the best of our ability, but ask any nurse, cleaner or barrister at the moment and they’ll tell you that’s not their current reality.

Both parties are deeply out of touch with what people are feeling in this country. The mood now is one of absolute frustration and anger, balanced by a growing sense of genuine solidarity. The reality is that the public backs the workers, and accepts the inconveniences that will inevitably be brought upon us by strike action. A recent YouGov poll found 64% support for nurses taking strike action, while another poll found more people supporting the rail strikes than opposing them when the reasons for strike action were explained to them.

It’s not acceptable for Keir Starmer to say that governments in waiting don’t join picket lines. Being able to listen and understand people’s concerns is a vital part of public service. The Green party knows that when these workers ask for support, the only real response is solidarity.

We talk about intersectionality not because it’s a cool new buzzword, but because genuine systemic change based at the heart of communities and standing in solidarity with each other is the only way to truly tackle the climate emergency and to make our society fairer.

A higher wage economy is a green economy, and the Green party will always stand side by side with people who face economic, social and environmental struggles. Last year, I campaigned with migrant care workers in north London to secure a living wage. Standing with working people on picket lines in the snow is only the tip of the iceberg of what it takes to succeed. We will be there for meetings and negotiations, and will be pushing for legislative change.

This new government will try to crush our wave of solidarity, and the official opposition looks as if it might just let it happen. Town by town, city by city, it’s up to ordinary people to come together and support one another, just as we did during the last crisis. Together, we can weather this storm, and win a better world on the other side.

About the author

Marta Lopez

I am a content writer and I write articles on sports, news, business etc.

By Marta Lopez


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