Fight for democratic control over health and safety

The resurgence of Covid-19 cases in Northern Ireland and elsewhere is deeply concerning, particularly as we face into the winter period. Socialists support all necessary measures to defend public health, although we reject the idea that these measures must come at the cost of the livelihoods of ordinary people.

However, the new restrictions now extended across the North are riddled with contradictions – reflective of Stormont’s desire to defend private profit over public health – which undermine the credibility of the approach and are likely to reduce compliance.

The most glaring of these contradictions is that, while we can no longer visit friends and family in their homes, we can meet them in a cafe, pub or anywhere else there is a till, alongside countless other people. Meanwhile, most of us are in close proximity with others in workplaces, schools and on public transport on a daily basis. The idea that workplaces are ‘Covid-safe’ will be a sick joke to many, particularly in sectors like hospitality and food processing.

The politicians at Westminster and Stormont, alongside the bosses they represent, are responsible for the renewed rise in Covid infection. They rushed people back into non-essential workplaces where they failed to enforce health regulations, they diluted social-distancing measures in hospitality, and they reopened schools without adequate resources to maintain safety. Now, they are attempting to pass the buck, scapegoating young people and students in particular. 

Socialists have been vindicated in arguing that we cannot rely on the bosses or capitalist politicians to do what is best for us in this pandemic. Instead, workers and young people need to get organised to stand up for our own interests, particularly as bosses use the crisis as a cover to attack jobs and conditions. We need to join and get involved with trade unions and students’ unions, and organise with our colleagues and classmates to demand public health and people’s livelihoods are prioritised over private profit.

Socialists call for:

  • Democratic control over health and safety in workplaces, schools and colleges
  • Guaranteed right to work or study from home wherever possible
  • Repeal the anti-union laws to allow workers to defend their interests
  • No job losses: open the books, fight for nationalisation under democratic workers’ control
  • Emergency mass investment in healthcare (including mental health services), education and other key services – take the billionaires’ hoarded wealth!
  • Abolish the sick system of capitalism: fight for a socialist future where society’s wealth is used in a planned and democratic way in the interests of people and planet

If you agree, join us today!