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 takes on an added importance with the new capitalist crisis sparked by Covid-19, which threatens an avalanche of job cuts and attacks to pay and conditions by the bosses.
Young people are more likely to be particularly badly affected by this new crisis. Retail and accommodation and food services are the two biggest sectors employing young people and have been hit hardest by lockdown. As a result of this, youth unemployment is at its highest rate in years, and is only set to get worse as big business and the Tories look to make young people and the wider working class pay for the new economic crisis with our jobs and futures.
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, like the British Gas workers in the GMB trade union fighting against being fired and then re-hired on worse pay and conditions. 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 long term unemployment and 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.
Youth Fight for Jobs back in action
With the new capitalist crisis facing young people, Youth Fight for Jobs is back in action. In September of last year, Youth Fight for Jobs was out campaigning around the TUC congress to call a council of war to discuss how the trade unions nationally can launch a campaign to defend jobs, and fight for a mass programme of government investment into socially useful job creation and to guarantee real training and apprenticeships for the skills young people need.
With the end of lockdown potentially soon approaching, we want to organise with trade union branches locally ‘marches for jobs’, demonstrating the potential power of the trade union movement to young people in struggle.
Fighting for good jobs for all has never been more important. We call on trade unionists to back our campaign and work with us so we can support each other. We call on young people to join us a fight for a future!
Youth Fight for Jobs says the trade unions should fight;
- Against all job cuts. Open the books and nationalise firms to save jobs.
- For real training and apprenticeship schemes for young people. For a decent job at the end of training.
- For the right to a job for all. End low pay, and fight for government investment in socially useful job creation. Share out the work with no loss of pay
- To make the 1% pay! Take the monopolies and banks into democratic public ownership in order to provide every young and working class person with a future which includes access to decent and well-paying jobs for all.