A video dismantling Jacob Rees-Mogg’s claims about care workers reaches more than 100,000 views

Jacob Rees Mogg and Peter Stefanovic
Mohamed Elmaazi

A video recently tweeted by lawyer and journalist Peter Stefanovic exposes just how dangerous simplistic narratives about Brexit can be:

At the time of writing, the video has had over 100,000 views.

Massive shortages

The Independent reported in August that:

England will be short of nearly 400,000 carers to look after the booming older population unless it strikes a deal to guarantee the free movement of EU staff on which the sector relies, a new analysis claims.

Using Office of National Statistics data, the think tank Global Future predicts England will have a shortfall of 380,000 workers by 2026 unless low-skilled roles can be filled with people from overseas…

This view was backed up by social media users:

Exploited workers

The Guardian reported on 29 September that:

Social care workers are cutting short visits to frail elderly people, or working unpaid overtime to keep up with huge workloads, a new report finds.

Some are paid as little as £5 an hour for helping Britain’s growing number of older people to live at home – assisting with eating, taking medication and getting out of bed.

Again, care workers on social media were quick to comment:

Workers’ rights and collective bargaining increase wages

Jacob Rees-Mogg ignores the role of job security and bargaining power in securing decent wages. This is unsurprising given that it was the Tories, in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, who weakened workers’ rights. One key example was increasing to two years from one year the time a worker must be employed before they can claim for wrongful dismissal.

As a 2014 report entitled The coalition government and employment relations pointed out:

A major Coalition theme has been to undermine the structures set up by Labour to oversee the promotion of equality and oppose discrimination. The influence of the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been weakened: its budget has been cut by 70% and its regional offices closed.

A trade union to the rescue

A lawyer by trade, Stefanovic told The Canary he received no support from his law firm when he came out in support of junior doctors in 2016 and publicly criticised government austerity.

Stefanovic explained that support from the Communication Workers Union (CWU) has been essential to getting his videos out:

I joined forces with CWU in February 2018 to hold the government to account where [main stream media] failed. The films we’ve produced together have been watched over 10 million times.

Without the support of CWU I would not have been able to continue making these films so I really do owe them.

Only by working together can distortions and detrimental policies like those promoted by Rees-Mogg be resisted. The CWU’s support for Stefanovic’s work shows it won’t be manipulated into ‘punching down’ and blaming foreigners for low wages and poor working conditions.

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Featured image via Peter Stefanovic – Twitter

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