Why Young People Should Support A General Strike?
At Trades Union Congress (TUC) congress in Brighton today, the Prison Officers Association (POA) will be putting forward a motion calling on the TUC to consider the practicalities of calling a general strike.
If this motion is passed and implemented then the government will be on the run. Many young people will not be able to go on strike as they are unemployed, but a general strike could have a huge impact on young people.
If the strike stops the attacks on pay and pensions then that means it also safeguards the pay pensions of the future teachers, nurses etc. i.e. our current generation of young people who are training for or seeking work.
Pensions are particularly important. If the government gets its way to make people work to 68 then where are the jobs for young people going to come from? If the unions can stop the retirement age rising through strike action that makes it easier for young people to get jobs.
If job losses are stopped by strike action then that means an increase in the unemployment figures are also stopped. Less people on the dole means there are less people chasing every job and therefore increases the chance of the unemployed youth being hired.
Unemployed youth don't have the economic power that the unions have. However, we can gain a lot if the unions decide to stand up for their members and their future members (us!). A poll by the BBC showed 80% of young people supported the huge public sector strike on Nov 30th.
The government considers working for your dole a solution to 1 million young people unemployed! General strike action has the potential to stop the job losses, pay freezes and a rising retirement age.
Unemployed young people should get right behind the trade union movement as they have the power to deal with youth unemployment far more than a government tied to the interests of the banks and big business.
Getting down to the massive demo, 'A Future that Works', in London on October the 20th and demanding its followed up with a 1 day general strike should be a priority for all young people fed up with signing on and sending off CVs to companies who never get back to you.