Pregnant Then Screwed

On Saturday 29th, protests organised by the Pregnant Then Screwed campaign took place across Britain against the astronomical cost of childcare. Socialist Party members joined the protest in Birmingham - here's our report:

Every week, I see posts in an online group of women, who are being let go from their job after falling pregnant, given reduced hours without consultation, or forced to work full-time while being the main carer of a young child. The trade unions must fight on these issues.

I attended from Northampton, with a friend who is a single parent of a daughter under two. She told me she would love to return to work, but childcare costs are too much. She plans to wait for her daughter to turn three, when she can benefit from 15 hours free childcare.

For me to do the same, I would have to reapply for my job. There is no guarantee it would still be available, or that my hours could be flexible around childcare needs.

The March of the Mummies demanded investment in childcare, but the parents on the demonstration were making the case that childcare should be free, and that these services need to be taken back in house.

Katie Simpson

Many of the protesters had not been to a protest before, but their accumulated anger about the cost of living and more, has forced them onto the streets.

Labour MP Steve McCabe addressed the crowd. But has criticised the Birmingham homecare workers when they were on strike to defend their jobs and pay in 2019.

Sombrely, he said that a Labour government would inherit the Tories’ mess and have to be ‘practical’. This is same line pushed by Keir Starmer, that under a Labour government renationalisation of industries is ‘not ‘realistic’, and austerity will be used to bill the working class for Covid and the economic downturn.

There are 250 billionaires in the UK.  We need a new mass workers’ party and coordinated strike action to fight for the redistribution of this wealth, so it can be invested back into society, creating free, quality childcare, where staff are paid at least £15 an hour.

Corinthia Ward

Written by workers for workers.

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