Sunday, September 03, 2023

'.. applying palliatives, not curing the malady.'

 'Charity workers could walk out on strike for the first time in the 270-year history of the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) as a simmering row over pay, alleged union-busting and rising executive wages reaches boiling point.   Union members at the enlightenment charity, which once counted Karl Marx and Nelson Mandela as members, are being balloted for strike action by the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) over a below-inflation pay offer, with the result expected this week.'

The RSA’s full name is telling: The Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. Reading the list of recipients of the Society’s Albert Medal is similarly revealing.   Scientists feature prominently, but the list is also peppered with parasites including Prince Albert’s wife, their eldest son, two great grandsons, QE2, etc., plus Field Marshal Jan Christian Smuts and Winston Churchill. 

The IWGB have every right to be angry that bosses’ pay at the RCA rises 170% while staff are offered just 4%, but should remember: 'Trades Unions work well as centres of resistance against the encroachments of capital. They fail partially from an injudicious use of their power. They fail generally from limiting themselves to a guerrilla war against the effects of the existing system, instead of simultaneously trying to change it, instead of using their organized forces as a lever for the final emancipation of the working class, that is to say, the ultimate abolition of the wages system'   (Marx, Value, Price & Profit, 1865).

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