1990s >> 1997 >> no-1110-february-1997

50 Years Ago: Labour Government, Strikes and Arbitration

The road haulage strike, which lasted for some ten days in the early part of January, brought out clearly the false position of the Labour Government and the impracticability of its policy.

Having undertaken the running of the capitalist system, the Labour Government is finding that it has got to do it in the only way it can be done. Capitalism will only work if the Capitalists can see the prospect of making a profit, so, in disregard of years of vaguely anti-capitalist propaganda, the Labour Government has had to come out in support of the “profit motive”. Having claimed it would raise wages, it urges the unions not to make wage claims, lest profits should all be swallowed up. It declared for shorter hours, but now says the time is inopportune. It condemned the use of troops in strikes, and has twice used them since it came to power. It declared that under Labour Government strikes were unnecessary because “impartial arbitration” would give all the worker wanted, but has repeatedly seen the workers defying unsatisfactory arbitration awards.

(From editorial. Socialist Standard, February 1947)