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Issue #1911      April 20, 2020

HEALTH, WORKERS’ RIGHTS, AND SOCIALISM

The CPA CC Executive met on the weekend of the 4-5 th of April and issued the following statement, setting out demands to provide campaigning directions for the Party under the current unique and unprecedented circumstances related to Covid-19.

The Covid-19 pandemic crisis displays the failure of capitalism and its inadequate health systems even in the most advanced countries. The Australian government spends $100,000,000 a day on the military. It is time this money is spent on the people.

The capitalist system has failed society in preventing thousands of deaths world-wide by allowing capital to act under the market and operate as it sees fit in the name of profit to the detriment of our community and social health. The CPA recognises that the only responsible solution is to replace the current system with a socialist system for the health, safety and economic well-being of us all.

The class struggle and suppression and exploitation of workers has intensified in these crisis circumstances. The ruling class is opportunistically using this health crisis to break down the wages and conditions of Australian workers while at the same time setting the working class up to pay for their capitalist rescue packages. The CPA will wage the struggle with working class people confronted by this capitalist call to arms. More than ever people must now come together, despite our momentary physical distancing, and work together to fight against the ruling class and their government’s plans to make the working class pay for their crisis.

The CPA will continue fighting for working class people during this time of crisis and campaigning for worker’s rights and safety. The CPA doesn’t believe workers should be asked to, or need to sacrifice their health and safety for the communities’ health and to maintain vital supply chains.

It is vital to keep the Party functioning and to intensify our struggle now!

THE PARTY MUST CAMPAIGN AND KEEP THE PARTY FUNCTIONING

Branches must continue their meetings online.

  • Regular branch activities and programs of work must be maintained or intensified.
  • Higher Party Bodies will be available to assist Party organisations to ramp up their work and provide any technical support.
  • Party leadership bodies will continue to meet online and will regularly distribute information about comrades’ initiatives, actions and campaigns.

ACTIVITY

What actions can we do to develop new forms of action.

  • The Sydney May 1 Movement had a car cavalcade as an example of physical distancing action.
  • Online campaigns will become more important – The Guardian and the party social media sites must play a leadership role in these actions.
  • The creativity and initiative of comrades will be vital to ensure the voice of the CPA stands out in the online crowd.
  • The online discipline of members is vital, and members are expected to maintain Party discipline at all times.

GUARDIAN AND WEBSITE

The Guardian is in Online Now

Due to Covid-19 the Guardian is only being published online. This is only temporary as an actual physical paper is extremely important to the Party and Guardian readers. The CC Executive does not see this as a backward step but rather as an opportunity to reach out to a whole new range of people. Our challenge is to reach new readers during the current less physically social circumstances.

The Party and Our Members Must Find New Ways to Expand the Guardian presence online.

  • Comrades should be reaching out to new people and have all members use the Guardian as a campaigning and organising tool.
  • Comrades should think about and suggest new ways to get the Guardian out or initiate new media outlets.
  • Every Party member should actively share the paper and individual articles online through all our social media sites.
  • The Guardian centre pages will become the headline feature of Party, highlighting our activity and campaigning.

Our Website

  • The Party website will have a significant update with an increased focus on incorporating local, party and community activity and functional campaigning.
  • The website will become a major active and vibrant source of the Party and political information in adding to the importance of the Guardian.
  • The Guardian and the website will be integrated tools in “Taking the Party to the People”.

CAMPAIGN DEMANDS

CPA demands to protect workers’ safety and rights.

  • The CPA supports and is actively involved in the struggles for workers’ rights and safety on the job including the full involvement of workers in implementing the strongest possible measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
  • These include the following rights in the workplace:
    • Covid-19 testing for all front-line workers who are forced to work during this crisis.
    • Appropriate PPE including the provision of high-quality face masks.
    • Physical distancing measures decided by workers in workplaces.
    • The best cleaning and hygiene measures to be implemented. Effective cleanliness and provision of cleaning materials proven to deal with Covid-19.
    • Payment for all Covid-19 related absences.
    • Relaxation of all medical certification by employers for personal leave.
  • Workers need to be in control of safety in the workplace.
  • Full rights for unions to represent workers at all times.
  • That all actions by workers related to Covid-19 related issues be considered a right and that no employer warnings, disciplinary sanctions or orders from any government institution or court should apply to any worker or union.
  • CPA political and economic demands to confront the crisis and achieve a real change
  • In addition to social restrictions mass testing must be increased.
  • Workers have a right to be paid 100 per cent of their wage if they are made unemployed due to Covid-19.
  • Workers need to be paid for all Covid-19 related absences.
  • Include all workers in Australia in any relief measures, health and social security.
  • No reduction in social security benefits.
  • Increase public health facilities and budget.
  • Workers must not pay for the crisis or recovery.
  • Reverse all privatisations and public ownership of all major industries:
    • Health and medicines
    • Education
    • Telecommunications
    • Resources & Mining
    • Finance and banks
    • Transport
      • Ships, Ports and wharves
      • Rail
      • Airlines
      • Public transportation

Next article – THE VIRUS AND OUR HEALTHCARE SYSTEM

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