Hundreds march with Youth Fight for Jobs on October 9th – a thank you to all our supporters

Marches in Bristol, Southampton, Cardiff, Leeds and Birmingham

Thank you to all our supporters for Youth Fight for Jobs’ national day of action on Saturday 9th October. With your support, Youth Fight for Jobs organised marches and protests for young people’s futures in 15 towns and cities across the UK.

While young and working class people have suffered over the course of the pandemic, the billionaires in Britain have increased their wealth be a fifth. Now, Boris Johnson is promising a high-wage, high-skill economy – but we know we’ll only get that through collective workers’ action.

Youth Fight for Jobs took to the streets to demand that instead, big business is made to pay for the crisis. We marched and protested for a £15 an hour living wage, an end to zero hours contracts, for real training and apprenticeship schemes for young people and a mass programme of socially useful and environmentally sustainable job creation. In some areas, we organised flying pickets of businesses notorious for their low wages, poor working conditions and use of zero hours contracts. We are proud to say that we were joined on the day by young workers, students and trade unionists.

Below are a few reports of the day from our supporters on the ground locally.


YFJ day of action, Bristol, 9.10.21

There was a constant stream of people passing by our demo, and it was motivating to see many people stop to talk to us about their frustration with the situation and their desire to find a solution. We had a great turnout from the trade union councils from Gloucester and Bristol.

One 17-year-old worker we spoke to explained the struggles she has experienced while working in retail – not knowing her hours from one week to the next, being made to work while she was ill, and a manager who refused to give her a copy of her contract.

This demo was just the beginning. Young people are becoming more and more disillusioned with capitalism. Now is our best opportunity to spread our message, and fight for socialism.


Glasgow hosted Scotland’s first Youth Fight for Jobs protest of the relaunched campaign. Our city will also soon host COP26.

Fiona Brittle, a member of civil service union PCS, said: “It’s so important for young workers and socialists to mobilise ahead of COP26, to demand significant and meaningful action from the Scottish government to tackle the climate emergency and create secure, well-paid green jobs for a just transition away from the fossil fuel economy.”

“The ruling class have demonstrated for years that they not only don’t care about how climate change, created by their capitalist machinations, threatens the working class, they actively benefit from the opportunity to exploit and squeeze us as a result of climate hardship.

“We need a systemic overhaul to fight the ecological crisis, ensure decent jobs and fair wages for workers, and start to repair the massive harm caused by austerity. And that overhaul must come from workers in solidarity with each other, unionised and organised.”



One student said: “We’re made to chase league tables, get the top grades, get a degree, and a masters, then end up in Pret on £8 an hour”

Another attendee said: “These jobs require emotional labour, as someone who struggles to even look people in the eye, what can I do?”.

After marching through the city centre, general secretary of the bakers’ union BFAWU, Sarah Woolley, ended the protest with a rousing call to take the fight to the Tories.


Youth Fight for Jobs worked alongside the local trade union council in order to provide a sound system, which allowed young people to speak freely about their experiences. Elliot Vaughan, a recent graduated, spoke about the pressure placed on young people to go to university in order to get a job.

A representative from the CWU said how excited he was by young people standing up for their rights and for a better future, and called for solidarity between young people and workers. A breakout meeting followed the protest, and the discussion continued.

March for jobs and a future for young people on October 9th!

If you’re a young person or trade unionist, and you want to get involved or support any of these marches in your local area, visit

  • Birmingham: Victoria Square 1pm (West Mids regional demo)
  • Leeds: Millenium Square, 12pm (Yorkshire regional demo)
  • London: Assemble outside Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), 1pm
  • Liverpool: Top of Church Street (by Bold Street), 12pm
  • Leicester: Meet at the Clocktower, 2pm
  • Glasgow: Skills Development Scotland, Monteith House, George Square, 1pm
  • North East Midlands, Mansfield: Westgate (near Market Place), NG18 1JA, 1pm
  • Bristol: Outside McDonald’s, 101/105 the Horsefair, BS1 3JR, 1pm
  • Plymouth: Meet at the Sundial Fountain, 1pm
  • Cardiff: Outside the Capitol Centre, Queen Street, 12pm
  • Swansea: Castle Square, 2pm
  • Brighton: Meet at the middle circle of the Level, 1pm
  • Southampton: The Bargate, 1pm
  • Reading: Assemble at Reading Council Offices, RG1 2LU, 1pm
  • Portsmouth: Guildhall Square, 12pm

Workers at Pret beat back attacks on wages – protest with Youth Fight for Jobs on October 9th

Joe Waters, Gloucestershire USDAW

Photo by Hakan Dohlstrom, Creative Commons

Workers at coffee shop chain Pret-a-Manger have won a partial victory over attempts to undermine their pay and conditions after threatening to respond with strike action.

Under cover of “below pre-pandemic levels” of trade for the franchise, bosses had moved to suspend paid breaks for staff and also cut a performance linked bonus for staff from £1 an hour to 50p. Since the prospect of strikes was raised by Pret workers, the company has reversed its decision to cut the bonus pay, but have left in place the scrapping of paid breaks. This means a worker on an 8 hour shift will now see an effective pay cut of 6% (compared to 11% before the partial u-turn). The majority of workers at Pret earn the legal minimum wage of £8.91 an hour.

This attack on staff benefits comes as the coffee chain experiments with a subscription based model for selling coffee, which has put workers under extra strain to meet the increased demand.

The approach taken by Pret bosses, to roll back the conditions of their lowest paid employees in order to protect company profits, is not unique in the current period. Aside from direct attacks on workers through practices like ‘fire and rehire’ and cuts to employee benefits, reductions in staffing levels (or in the case of Pret, a new, subscription based, business model) place extra burdens on workers and effectively require each of them to do more work with no increase in remuneration.

It is in this context that Youth Fight for Jobs is campaigning for trade union action to secure a real future for young people in the workplace, who will bear the brunt of these attacks.

Firms who consider making job cuts should be made to open their books to trade union scrutiny, and nationalisation of companies in order to save jobs should be fought for by the trade union movement.

Training and apprenticeship schemes for young people and government investment in socially useful job creation, in order to guarantee the right to a decent job for all without loss of pay is also vital to building a future for young people and for society.

We also demand that monopolies and banks are taken into democratic public ownership in order to provide every young and working class person with a decent, socially useful and well-paying job. This burden should rightly fall on the 1%, who see it as their right to make big profits off of holding down the pay and conditions of workers. Youth Fight for Jobs will be organising a national day of action for October 9th in order to fight for this programme and demonstrate in practice

March for jobs on October 9th

Fight for a future for young people!


Swansea Youth Fight for Jobs campaigners, 31st July 2021

The Youth Fight for Jobs ten point programme:

  1. Collective struggle for the right to a decent job for all
  2. For a mass trade union led fightback against the jobs slaughter, fire and re-hire and all the bosses’ attacks on workers
  3. No to mass youth unemployment – for a mass programme of socially useful and environmentally friendly job creation
  4. End low pay. For trade union struggle for a £12 an hour minimum wage as a step towards a real living wage of £15 an hour. Abolish youth rates.
  5. Scrap zero hour contracts. End job insecurity 
  6. No to bogus training schemes. For real training and apprenticeship schemes, under the democratic oversight of the trade unions, with a guaranteed job at the end for all. Abolish apprenticeship rates – for a living wage and grant for all trainees and apprentices.
  7. Wherever job losses are threatened, open company accounts to democratic trade union inspection to show where the money has gone
  8. Trade union rights at work from day one
  9. For a mass programme of council house building and rent controls
  10. Make the 1% pay for the crisis – for democratic public ownership of major industry and the banks to provide us with a future

A major crisis is unravelling in front of young people in Britain today. Our futures – starting with our jobs – are being sacrificed by big business and the pro-capitalist politicians and parties to protect the profits of the super-rich 1%. 

The coronavirus pandemic has already been hard for young people. Retail, accommodation and food services are the biggest sectors employing young people and they’ve have seen the biggest job cuts. So young people have suffered the brunt of job losses over the course of the pandemic, with two thirds of all overall redundancies hitting under 25s. 

We also face growing job insecurity, an explosion of unaffordable housing, the burden of student debt, many of us face discrimination and the environmental catastrophe threatens our future.

That’s why on Saturday 9th October, Youth Fight for Jobs across the country is organising youth marches for jobs to demand that we are not made to pay for this crisis.

The ending of the furlough scheme in October will mark a new phase of suffering as the bosses, after receiving millions of pounds in furlough money from the Tories, will move to slash our jobs.

Over the course of the pandemic, in Britain the billionaires have increased their overall wealth by a fifth. We say that they should be made to pay for this crisis, not young people and the working class. 

But in order to make them pay, we have to build a mass collective movement to fight for what we, the majority, need. The right to a decent job is essential if we’re to have a future. But under capitalism, where profit comes before all else, no such right can be guaranteed – it has to be fought for. 

We say the kind of struggle we need is a trade union led struggle. With over 6 million members, organised in workplaces across the country, the trade unions are potentially the most powerful weapons in building a mass collective struggle against the attacks of the bosses and the Tories. The potential for collective action has been proved by the many victories striking workers have chalked up in 2021. 

That’s why we campaign for the leaders of our trade unions to throw the full weight of the trade union movement behind the fight against the jobs slaughter, to help organise young workers, and to lead the fightback for decent jobs for all.

But we don’t just need to build a struggle against job cuts, we need to build a mass movement for what young people need for an independent life and decent future. 

That’s why Youth Fight for Jobs fights for a mass programme of government investment into socially useful job creation, under the democratic oversight of the trade union movement, funded by taking the wealth from the super-rich 1%, including through nationalisation of industry and the banks.

But capitalism is a system in which the economy and society is organised to maximise the profits of a tiny handful at the top of society, ahead of the social needs and wants of the majority. 

That’s why we fight not just for a trade union-led struggle against the jobs slaughter, but for a socialist society based on meeting the needs of all. 

Youth Fight for Jobs is back!

March and protest with us on 9 October

Reece Wilson, PCS union

Young workers and students are organising Youth Fight for Jobs in preparation for a day of action on 9 October. The Youth Fight for Jobs campaign is needed now more than ever.

The furlough scheme is set to end in September, and scores of young people are set to be cast out into the world of unemployment, at worst, and low-paid precarious jobs, at best.

The government’s plan for youth jobs is shipping young people into minimum wage, part-time, six-month contracts. We must fight for a better future.

Youth Fight for Jobs was founded in 2009 in similar circumstances. The consequences of the 2007-08 financial crash were borne on the shoulders of the working class – especially its young members. Since then, 13 years of austerity have left young workers in poverty and uncertainty.

Degrees and apprenticeships that were meant to bring young people success and security have left them penniless, in debt, or both. At the opposite pole, the 2,365 billionaires in the world increased their wealth to almost $13 trillion – a 54% increase.

Both the government and the Labour Party have shown that they do not care about the working class, and only care about the rich.

Some recent workers’ struggles have been victorious – the Royal London Hospital strike and that of the Thurrock bin workers. But things will get worse if we let the bosses keep pushing against us.

Youth Fight for Jobs will be marching in cities and towns on 9 October for a future for young people, with well-paid secure socially useful jobs that benefit everyone, not just the bank accounts of the bosses.

So join us. From school students to the unemployed to young workers – this is your future. Help us organise the fightback.

Youth Fight for Jobs says the trade unions should fight:

  • Against all job cuts – Open the finance 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 to provide every young and working-class person with a future