******This is a 100% opinion piece. No citations, no sources, just a call for people to see what it REALLY means to be socialist.******
STOP BITCHING ABOUT THE ‘BANK HOLIDAYS’ PLEDGE OF THE LP.
This is it.
Theoretically IT IS true and yes it’s the ‘law’ that people should get proper paid days off on public hols, but in reality companies (condoned by the Conservatives and to some extent New Labour too) have eroded workers’ rights so much few get double time or even time and a half and many do not get time in lieu, they have to work for normal pay or take them out of annual leave when they are supposed to be paid holidays OR the methods above. WE HAVE NO PAID PUBLIC HOLIDAYS. NONE.
When I was working for a company, years ago now, even part time, I got double time or I could take it off with no penalty (I’m self employed now as I could see how bad things were getting and decided to take a leap and go it alone) but almost nobody I know who’s got a job in the past 10 years has those rights (unless they’re in jobs like social care etc and even then, many don’t get them…).
Few get their full 5+ weeks leave, even if they’re full time. If you’re part time, for the most part, forget about it even though the LAW says you are entitled to a percentage of that leave, worked out on how many hours you work.
Few get overtime even when they work over.
Few get the right to even have a say on what shifts they do.
Few, even if they’re not in the emergency services, ever get public holidays off (and no I’m not confusing this with annual leave), deliberate staff cuts have seen to that.
Few in the hospitality industries ever get a choice on what days they get off, or if they get any off. Most are forced to work every weekend, every Bank Holiday, every Christmas and New Year till the end of time, for fear of losing their job.
Nobody on zero hours contracts or who is a carer for a relative or partner gets any say in anything at all.
This is happening to more people every week.
This pledge IMO
a) appeases the Biffers and not bigoted traditionalists (the Saints days malarkey)
b) subtly shows big business their days of being oppressive to the workers are numbered.
c) Is a symbol of unity in these difficult times (in the face of Scottish independence-personally I’m for that but hey, if the LP want to do this, ok, and Corbyn’s always wanted a united Ireland too)
(If Barry Gardiner was not also part of the think tank that included Corbyn and McDonnell as well as their teams of experts on this I’ll eat my hat, the guy’s a genius.)
So oddly you could see this as the most important thing the LP have announced.
There are many other linking policies to this too,
tax breaks for those on low and/or seasonal incomes and
help to ensure minimum wage that’s actually a proper living wage can be given to/by small businesses too,
cracking down on tax evasion in large companies,
six hours day and/or four day working weeks and a Universal Income (that would cost LESS than ‘benefits’ to run)
and so on.
It’s actually quite radical, been discussed since 2015 when Corbyn became leader of the Labour party (what the MSM have been calling ‘Corbynomics’ and taking the p*ss out of) and IMO genius.
Take it from me, I’m a historian, we’re ‘made’ to see the bigger picture…
They’re even expecting some resistance from
people programmed to work till they drop
people who resent others getting more time off than them (years of divide and rule…)
people who are so close to the breadline they’re terrified of taking the time off
which is why they’ve worked so hard with everyone from philanthropists and economists to social care workers and experts, and small business and the self employed too to see how having a LP govt can help them too. There was a plan, meant to start in 2020 should the LP win the election, but May’s done this now. Luckily, they’re ready NOW.
Having strong unions could have also kept and now be ensuring these workers’ rights but we all know what happened there: THATCHER. But this is what the Labour Party is about, it was BUILT from the work of unions.
This is what I’m on about. NOBODY would miss out. NOBODY would be forced to work for fear of being sacked or losing income. Parents get to spend some time with their kids, be able to plan little mini breaks and not fear the fine. Single people and people without children would not be made to do all the sh*tty shifts from now to kingdom come so Mr X or Ms Y or Mx Z can go and pick up their kid from school.
Companies would have to pay proper bank holiday rates or time off in lieu.
So you may not get the bank holiday off but you’d be able to choose another time to have a PAID long weekend off.
And it would NOT come out of your annual leave.
That’s if you even get any.
Or you’d be able to put in for it in advance and GET IT.
Staff would no longer be so cut to the bone that they can’t be on rotation to cover all shifts but not be worked half to death, or into illness (mental or physical.)
Plus if small traders did work it, the boom in sales etc has been worked out to be billions.
It’s not about ‘what do I get’- I’m a sole trader, I’d get f*ck all. It’s about ‘how can we stop the erosion of workers’ rights and step towards a fairer society’.
THIS IS WHAT IT MEANS TO BE A SOCIALIST. SCARY ISN’T IT? AND JUST A BIT EXHILARATING 😉