Launch of Updated Emergency Programme

7pm Tuesday 6th July
Hosted by John McDonnell & Karen Reissmann

– Vicky Blake, President of University College Union
– Diane Abbott, Labour MP
– James Farrar General Secretary App Drivers’ and Couriers’ Union
– Daniel Kebede, Senior Vice President National Eduction Union
– Weyman Bennett, Stand Up to Racism
– Jordan Rivera, Homerton Unison and NHS Pay campaigner
– Janet Newsham, Hazards Campaign
– John Puntis, Keep Our NHS Public
– Joanna Janeczko, cladding scandal protest coordinator
– Navdeep Sharman, Unite rep Brush Electrical
– Pippa Dowsell, chair National Education Union Islington Sixth Form College
– Peta Bulmer, Campaigns Officer University of Liverpool UCU
– Joe Pisani, National Construction Rank and File

Throughout the Covid pandemic the government has acted to put profit first. Lockdowns have been implemented too slowly and then in too restricted a way. The cost in lives has been enormous and unnecessary. Alongside this has been a growing economic crisis – with working class people once again asked to pay the bill, from hundreds of thousands of jobs going, to a new round of attacks on workers’ pay and conditions.
The government talks of a roadmap out of the pandemic and a return to normal. They mean a return to austerity amid spiralling wealth for the few at the top, privatisation and more attacks on our rights. We cannot return to this toxic reality. We need to fight for a different vision – one that puts people before profit and is willing to organise and fight for this.
In 2020, People Before Profit put forward an Emergency Programme for Jobs, Services and Safety. As the crisis develops we update this programme to respond to new developments and the new attacks we face. Join this meeting to discuss how best to campaign against the attacks from the bosses and the government and fight for a better future.

Catch up on previous meetings


Stop the jobs crisis

The jobs crisis continues, and will accelerate with the withdrawal of the Furlough scheme. Young workers in particular are at the sharpest end of the crisis, with nearly two thirds of job losses concentrated among the under 25s. BAME and migrant workers have also faced disproportionate job losses.

Rebuild the NHS and fight for a publicly run social system

A decade of underfunding, outsourcing and privatisation in the NHS have to be reversed. We support the demand for a 15 percent immediate pay rise for all NHS staff. 

Defend education

A wave of attacks and redundancies are ripping through higher education. A massive programme of investment needs to be introduced. Our schools urgently need more funding, an end to league tables and academisation. The scandal of child poverty (including lack of access to laptops and broadband) must be urgently addressed.

Safe workplaces

Workplaces should only be open if sources of transmission are regularly risk-assessed and controlled. Workers need to have direct control over safety in the workplace. The mass use of Section 44 by the NEU and Unison in schools was an effective weapon in the fight for safety.

End fire and rehire

The spreading use of the threat and use of mass sackings by employers to force workers to accept cuts to their pay and conditions must be banned and every instance of its use should meet the full force of the union movement.

A pay rise for every worker 

Rising inflation underlines the need for every worker to get a major pay rise. We commit to opposing the public sector pay freeze and to support every private sector pay fight.

Make the building developers pay

Building developers, not leaseholders or councils, must be made to pay for the removal of unsafe cladding on buildings and other necessary safety measures. The governments must fund councils to make council housing safe. 

Tax the rich

The richest in society have seen their wealth vastly increase during the Covid crisis. This is in the same period when the rate of poverty for working households in Britain reached a record high. We want the wealthiest to pay higher rates of tax to fund public services, not another decade of austerity.

Public enquiry now

We support the demand for the immediate setting up of an independent public inquiry into all the governments of the UK’s disastrous handling of the Covid pandemic.

Renationalise public transport

The pandemic has hit public transport revenues. This underlines the urgent need for an integrated, renationalised and fully funded transport system, which the government’s Williams Report into the railways fails to address.

Keep the £20 uplift to Universal Credit

Make the uplift to benefits permanent and extend it to those on legacy benefits. The welfare system needs to be overhauled and benefits massively increased. We support the campaigns to scrap Universal Credit and the Bedroom Tax.

Defend the right to protest

We support the ‘Kill the Bill’ movement to stop the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which is aimed at placing draconian curbs on effective protests, including picket lines. Our rights must be defended – by organising, striking and protesting.

Fight racism and the hostile environment

The Tories are deepening and expanding the hostile environment for refugees and migrants in British society.  The trade union movement must be mobilised to push back against the hostile environment and racism. We will organise to challenge and oppose all forms of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia and discrimination against disabled people.

Sign up to support the programme

Initial signatories include:

  • John McDonnell Labour Party MP
  • Diane Abbott Labour Party MP
  • Sarah Woolley Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union general secretary
  • Ian Hodson Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union national president
  • Jane Loftus Communication Workers Union vice president
  • Fran Heathcoate Public and Commercial Services Union president
  • Claudia Webbe Labour Party MP
  • Rebecca Long-Bailey Labour Party MP
  • Richard Burgon Labour Party MP
  • Ian Byrne Labour Party MP
  • Apsana Begum Labour Party MP
  • Grace Blakeley author, economist and activist
  • Neil Findlay Scottish Labour MSP
  • Bell Ribeiro-Addy Labour Party MP
  • Gordon Rowntree  PCS Left Unity national secretary
  • Robin McAlpine Common Weal director
  • Carlo Morelli Scotland University and College Union president
  • Mark Rowe Fire Brigades Union national officer
  • Please note names will not appear automatically. This is a selection of the initial signatories.


Build fighting unions and solidarity with every fightback

To defend the interests of workers we need to rebuild the trade union movement. We need to draw millions of workers facing job losses, low pay, lack of safety at work into the unions – and we need tens of thousands of new reps and activists who can help organise campaigns, strikes and protest to defend workers. Unions that fightback can recruit members and enthuse a new generation of activists. Every group of workers that fights back should be flooded with messages of support, donations to their strike fund and invites to address union and labour movement meetings. We demand the repeal of all the anti-trade union laws. 

Equality and unity – don’t let them divide us 

Governments that want to shift the burden of a crisis onto the shoulders of workers and the poor will also turn to more scapegoating, division and racism to help push their attacks through. We will organise to challenge and oppose all forms of racism, sexism, homophobia and transphobia and discrimination against disabled people. Only though unity based on equality can we fight back effectively.

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