Socialist Party :: Private equity buyout proposals

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Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1141/32772

From The Socialist newspaper, July 7, 2021

Morrisonsl, photo Jim Barton / CC, photo Jim Barton / CC (Click to enlarge)

Iain Dalton, President Usdaw Broad Left (personal ability)

A bidding war is underway by various private equity firms and their partners for the Morrisons supermarket.

The current bidders are led by private equity fund Fortress, including the billionaire Koch family. Its offering is superior to that of rival private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice. Another private equity firm, Apollo, also appointed advisers before submitting a bid.

As a result of these offers, the share price has risen by 50% in recent weeks. These developments reinforce the arguments we have put forward on the strengthened position of the large retail chains at the end of the pandemic.

The recently approved buyout of Asda by the Issa brothers, whose first major transaction since the takeover is to arrange for the sale and leaseback of around 25 distribution centers, valued at around £ 1.2 billion, is an indication of what will be in store for Morrisons workers if any of these possible deals are made.

But there is nothing taking another bid, or a future bid from the same consortium, to commitments like keeping the pay rise at £ 10 an hour. And under capitalism, the main driving force for any business to bring returns on investment, profits, to their owners and shareholders. Their attitude towards the interests of their workers and customers is secondary to these considerations.

As the company with the second-largest membership in Usdaw after Tesco, with nearly 45,000 members at the end of 2020, it is vital that the union gets on a war footing over these announcements. Rather than simply calling for a meeting, the union should set the red lines for attacks on the pay, terms and conditions of our members, as well as whether the company retains control of its infrastructure and assets.

Sections of the union covering Morrisons workers are expected to discuss the developments and emergency mass meetings of Morrisons workers should be held if it becomes clear that attacks on the union’s red lines are taking place. Approaches for Unite, which organizes a minority of Morrisons workers, should be made for a joint campaign.

But fundamentally, the employers’ profit motive means that squeezing the wages, terms and conditions of workers in retail, distribution and food manufacturing is inevitable under capitalism. That is why the only real security for decent, well-paying jobs in the sector is to remove the motive of profit from the equation.

But why should the provision of something as essential as food be the source of such speculation? We believe that in addition to defending the wages and terms of our members, as well as job security, the Usdaw should demand that Morrisons, along with the other major supermarkets, become public property, under democratic control. workers.

Along with the other key elements of the economy that would be made public, this would create the basis for organizing a socialist plan of production and distribution, to meet the needs of all, with remuneration and conditions that reflect the vital role played in our company by workers in the retail trade, distribution and manufacturing of food.

Financial appeal

The coronavirus crisis has exposed the class character of society in many ways. This clearly shows to many that it is the working class that makes society run, not the CEOs of big companies.

The results of austerity have been shown graphically as utilities struggle to cope with the crisis.

The government has now torn apart its mantra of “austerity” and turned to policies that not so long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, he will try to make the working class pay, by trying to get back what has been given.

  • The material of the Socialist Party is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report workers fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels etc.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be prepared for the stormy events to come and the need to arm the labor movements with a socialist program – one that puts the health and needs of mankind before the profits of society. some.

Inevitably, during the crisis, we were not able to sell the socialist and raise funds as we normally would.


We therefore urge all our viewers to donate to our Fight Fund.


In The Socialist from July 7, 2021:


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