Youth Fight for Jobs says:
- Young people need to get organised to fight for a decent future – join and get involved in your trade union!
- End low pay. For trade union struggle for a real living wage of £15 an hour. Abolish youth rates!
- Scrap zero hour contracts. End job insecurity
- For a mass programme of socially useful and environmentally friendly job creation
- Make the 1% pay for the crisis – for democratic public ownership of major industry and the banks to provide us with a future
Youth Fight for Jobs is a youth organisation fighting for good jobs for all. Youth Fight for Jobs was formed in 2009 in response to the rise of youth unemployment caused by the 2008 / 2009 financial crisis, winning the support of 7 national trade unions.
The fight for good jobs for all took on an added importance with the new capitalist crisis sparked by Covid-19, which threatens massive attacks to our pay and conditions by the bosses. During the first waves of the Covid-19 pandemic, retail and accommodation and food services were the two biggest sectors employing young people and hit hardest by lockdown.
Following the misery of the coronavirus pandemic, a major cost-of-living crisis now looms over young people in Britain. The current crisis is severely affecting all workers. Many are being forced this year to choose between heating or eating.
But the soaring cost of living will especially hit young workers, who overwhelmingly make up some of the most precarious sectors like retail, accommodation, and food services, with the use of zero-hours contracts and discriminatory youth rates of pay widespread.
The Tories offer no solutions whatsoever to this deep crisis facing young people. They’re on the side of the bosses, who want to exploit this crisis to further drive down the pay and conditions of young and working class people generally.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. Workers taking strike action have shown the way forward. With over 6 million members, the trade unions are potentially the most powerful organisations working class and young people have for organising against the attacks of the bosses and the Tories.
That’s why Youth Fight for Jobs is fighting for trade union action for young people’s futures – to demand that we are not made to pay for the new economic crisis, and for decent, well-paying jobs for all. While young people are left facing the prospect of no decent future whatsoever, the billionaires in Britain and internationally have continued to get even richer over the course of the pandemic. We want to fight against all job cuts, for real training and apprenticeship schemes for young people, and for the right to a job for all – and to make the super-rich 1% pay for it!
Youth Fight for Jobs has a proud record of campaigning. In 2011 we organised a march for jobs from Jarrow to London, 75 years after the famous Jarrow Crusade. Our campaign received significant national press coverage and raised awareness of the blight of unemployment on the lives of young people.
We have consistently fought against ‘workfare’ schemes which make people work for their benefits. Youth Fight for Jobs campaigners have organised moving pickets in shopping areas, targeting employers who were known to exploit these unpaid labour schemes.
We have campaigned not just against unemployment but also underemployment, including zero hours contracts which are concentrated among young workers. They give the bosses flexibility but we get instability – in our incomes and working hours.
Campaigning for good jobs for all has also meant taking up low pay and poor conditions at work. We have fought for a rise in the minimum wage without age restrictions. We participated in the Fast Food Rights campaign organised by the Bakers’ Union (BFAWU) which called at the time for an immediate rise to a £10 minimum wage. We also supported their members in McDonalds who have taken strike action against low pay.