Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/564/6813
Youth Fight for Jobs
Defend jobs and services
The Youth Fight for Jobs initiative by International Socialist Resistance is a timely campaign against rising unemployment figures.
A Jobcentre Plus worker
Disgracefully, the government is still going ahead with its butchery of public services including the Ministry of Justice and Revenue and Customs. Job cuts at HMRC will exacerbate the woeful position in public finances as more and more tax goes uncollected from big businesses and rich individuals as the service cannot cope. There are already one million items of unopened mail, and that is before further jobs are slashed.
Unemployment is set to go over the three million mark during this recession, but the effects can already be seen. JobcentrePlus contact centre workers, who deal with new benefit claims, have been told to stop looking for jobs for people who ring up as it is unlikely there will be many available and the service is too short-staffed to cope.
Management suspended all non-essential training in January to cope with the increased demand. On 5 January, a record 68,000 calls were made to the national network - the previous record was 48,000. 15,000 of these calls were not answered. This is unprecedented.
Also on 5 January, nearly all computer programmes crashed en masse (more value for money from private contractors EDS?), resulting in a situation where people were told to ring back in an hour. Then, in an insane directive issued from the national management designed to make the percentage of calls answered look better, people were again asked to call back even after the computer systems had been fixed. So much for customer service!
Overtime is now freely available every Saturday and most weeknights as well, which is a new development for a service in which job security had been a big worry until recently. However, such a situation brings with it problems such as stress, as staff deal with more and more of the grim stories which make up the human side of this economic crisis.
The huge problem of unemployment cannot easily be solved. For some, in particular long-term unemployed people, it will require patient and determined encouragement and assistance to return to the world of work. Others may prefer to enter education, but are put off by the cost. This is an indictment of the introduction of university fees.
A massive expansion in childcare could provide jobs for many people and assist others to work part-time while their children are cared for. A significant reduction in the working week, together with massive investment in training and education, would combat unemployment and end the disgraceful situation where many people work themselves to the bone for 60 or more hours a week while others have no work at all.
International Socialist Resistance (ISR) launched the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign at the end of 2008 so that young people can organise and put forward a strategy that means a decent future. Join ISR!
ISR campaigns for:
- The right to a decent job for all - we won't pay for their crisis!
- No to job losses. Open the account books to let workers see where the profits have gone.
- For fighting trade unions, involving young workers and the unemployed.
- For training linked to decent jobs.
- No to cheap labour apprenticeships! For all apprenticeships topay at least the minimum wage, with a job guaranteed at the end.
- No to university fees. Support the Campaign to Defeat Fees.
- No to bullying management. For decent working conditions.
- For a living minimum wage of at least £8 an hour for all. No youth exemptions.
- Share out the work. For a 35 hour working week with no loss of pay.
- For government investment in socially useful jobs.
- For a massive public programme of house building, renovation and infrastructure projects.
- No to these projects being run by private companies who will put profit first.
Bail out workers not bosses. Nationalise big industries threatening closure or large scale job losses.
In The Socialist 28 January 2009:
Slaughter in Gaza
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
Marxist analysis: history
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party news
Socialist Party reviews