Right-wing shitrag the Telegraph ran an article on Sunday 27 November criticising NHS workers for striking. Of course, in reality it was little more than a poorly-written piece of gammon catnip with a clear pro-privatisation bias. Moreover, the article was devoid of actual facts.
Telegraph: bloated with bullshit
The bloated public sector is showing its contempt for taxpayers with plans to strike
Demands for double-digit pay rises fail to recognise the suffering felt by private workers
Yes, hard-working front-line state employees deserve a decent pay rise.
However, his overall points were that:
- Workers are asking for too much money.
- Higher-paid public sector workers shouldn’t be asking for more money at all.
- Public sector workers have had it easier than private sector ones.
Halligan wrote a clear piece of propaganda, pitting worker against worker across a thinly-veiled pro-privatisation narrative:
— Doctor (@orthoandtrauma) November 27, 2022
Twisting the truth
Of course, the article was also littered with holes and mistruths – as one reader pointed out in the comments:
For example, Halligan claimed that:
Average public sector wages were £579 per week in 2021, compared to £536 in the private sector.
Here, he has cherry-picked one figure. As BBC News wrote, private sector pay is actually more than public sector pay when you take bonuses into account. Moreover, when regular public sector pay is adjusted to factor in demographics like gender and ethnicity, it is lower as well. Plus, as BBC News wrote:
public-sector workers are more likely to be highly educated professionals who command higher wages in the labour market.
So, overall Halligan’s article was a load of BS opinion pretending to be economic analysis. However, the GB News hack also missed another critical point in his hit-piece: that private sector workers are also striking.
Private sector strikes
For example, nearly all of Jacob’s Cream Crackers’ workers have recently gone on indefinite strike. As the Guardian reported, bosses have offered staff at the Aintree factory repeated real-terms pay cuts. So workers have walked out, and Jacob’s has chosen to move production of crackers to Portugal. However, crucially, the Guardian noted that:
Workers from rival biscuit maker Fox’s recently secured a 13.5% pay rise over two years after threatening strike action backed by the Unite union while those at Heinz’s condiment factory in Telford won an 11% pay rise this week.
Meanwhile, as the Canary recently reported, cleaning, catering, and housekeeping staff in the private health sector have won repeated pay rises after they protested and campaigned.
Then, two of the biggest private sector strikes Halligan failed to mention in the Telegraph were that of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) against Royal Mail, and the National Union of Rail, Transport and Maritime Workers (RMT) against privatised rail companies. Moreover, charity sector workers are also striking, with staff at homelessness organisation Shelter walking out over pay.
Blood vessel-bursting gammon-fodder
Of course, readers of the Telegraph didn’t consider this, with one person even commenting the private sector ‘can’t strike’:
Telegraph readers will digest Halligan’s very obvious divide and conquer propaganda and burst a blood vessel over the “bloated public sector”. But in reality, it doesn’t matter if workers are in the public, private, or charity sectors. Everyone is feeling the effects of the Tories’ capitalist race-to-the-bottom agenda. And no amount of poorly-written drivel from Halligan will change that.
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