Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/570/7033
Youth Fight for Jobs
IT'S LESS than three weeks to go until the Youth Fight for Jobs march on Thursday 2 April. The march assembles between 9am and 10am at Camberwell Green in Southwark, the borough with the tenth highest unemployment rate in Britain. Local trade unionists will host breakfast and a send-off rally.
Youth Fight for Jobs
The protest then goes to Parliament for 10.45am and after that marches past the Bank of England at 11.30am. Then it wends its way to Victoria Park in east London. This spans the London boroughs of Hackney and Tower Hamlets, which have the second and third highest unemployment rates in Britain. East London trade unions will host lunch and a rally.
The march then enters Newham, site of the 2012 Olympics and the 2009 record level of unemployment. Our demands for the Olympic site include full trade union rights and decent apprenticeships. Then we come to the ExCel centre where the leaders of the G20 nations are meeting. Youth Fight for Jobs is saying to these capitalist politicians - don't make us pay for your crisis!
If you want to be a marcher, please get in touch with Youth Fight for Jobs on 020 8558 7947 or go to www.youthfightforjobs.com to sign up. Overnight accommodation is available for 1 and 2 April, but we need to know in advance!
- Huddersfield, Thursday 12 March, 5.30pm. St Patrick Centre, Trinity Street.
- Dundee, Thursday 12 March, 7.30pm. Number Ten, (Dundee Voluntary Action), Constitution Road.
- Crawley, Tuesday 17 March, 7.30pm. St John's Church Hall, The Broadway. Contact Sean on 07984 027754 for more info.
- Brighton, Wednesday 18 March, 6pm. Upstairs at the Phoenix Community Centre, Phoenix Place, Brighton, BN2 9ND.
- Guildford, Wednesday 18 March, 7.30pm. Hosted by the "United Free Thinkers Society" at Surrey University. Wates House, Treetops, Surrey University.
- Birmingham, Thursday 19 March, 7.30pm. Conference Room, Wetherlodge Hotel, 25 Bennetts Hill (off New Street), Birmingham City Centre, B2 5RE. More info contact Steve 07964168398
- Aylesbury, Monday 23 March, 7.30pm. Friends Meeting House, Rickfords Hill, next to Saracens Head.
- Basildon, Monday 23 March, 8pm. Room 2, Pitsea Leisure Centre, Northlands Pavement, Pitsea, SS13 3DU.
- Bristol, Tuesday 24 March, 6.30-8.00pm, Transport House, Victoria St, Bristol. Speakers will be a YFfJ campaigner and a speaker from the teachers' union, NUT. 6.30-8.00pm.
Huddersfield: Gordon and the fat cats
BUILDING ON weeks of stalls and leafleting, Socialist Party members went into Huddersfield town centre on 7 March to promote our 12 March Youth Fight for Jobs (YFfJ) meeting. Two brave volunteers risked the public's wrath by dressing up as Gordon Brown and a fat-cat banker.
'Gordon' then handed over a blank cheque to illustrate New Labour's ridiculous bailouts for the rich bankers, while the rest of us struggle with the recession.
We certainly captured the public's imagination. Crowds of people stopped to heckle the duo, sign our petitions and buy The Socialist. Many young people stopped to see what all the fuss was about, and to discuss the recession, its impact and ways to fight back.
Leaflets advertising the local Youth Fight for Jobs launch meeting were snapped up. Some keen students took away leaflets and volunteered to hand them out around the campus. 54 copies of The Socialist were sold, and a lot of great publicity for the meeting was generated through the local press and leafleting.
The local YFfJ campaign already has the backing of Huddersfield Trades Council and Kirklees Unison. We hope to attract more support after our successful protest.
A 'week of action' is being held before the meeting, with stalls around colleges and workplaces. The campaign has already found an echo amongst many young people.
The worsening economic situation, combined with New Labour's and the Tories' bankrupt, pro-big business policies, are encouraging more young people to join the fight-back.
Three 'bankers' ask "Please give generously... £550 billion should do it.", photo by SP Wales
Three 'bankers' appeared at the Youth Fight for Jobs day of action in Cardiff. They were carrying bags of swag and were begging for even more money from passers by. One banker carried a placard: "Please give generously - five mansions, three villas, two yachts, three race-horses, a Bentley and four Ferraris to support. £550 billion should do it. Thanks very much and goodbye". A number of people signed up for the South Wales bus to the march to the G20 on 2 April.
Joe Fathallah, Cardiff Youth Fight for Jobs
Dundee: "Where's our bailout?"
FAILED BANKING millionaire Sir Fred Goodwin took to the streets of Dundee on 7 March. Wearing pinstripes, with his bowler hat stuffed with £20 notes, and smoking a fat Cuban cigar he (in fact someone impersonating him) was supporting the Youth Fight For Jobs (YFfJ) protest as it lobbied the Scottish Labour conference.
Nikki Watt played the role of a redundant worker clutching her P45 and carrying the message "Where's my bailout?". In City Square YFfJ demanded that the government take immediate action to provide proper jobs and training with decent wages for young people.
Leah Ganley said: "Unemployment figures are escalating; currently at two million across the UK and expected to reach three million by the end of this year, with at least 40% of those being under the age of 25. In Scotland, the unemployment rate for 16-24 year olds is already four times that of older workers."
THE YOUTH Fight for Jobs campaign in Mansfield had its official launch on 7 March. Mansfield Socalist Party member Lindsay Wheatcroft told the local press: "It is becoming almost impossible for young people to find work that isn't temporary, low-paid and dead-end.
"We aim to build support in the trade unions and among young people for demands like a living wage of at least £8 per hour, no more cheap labour apprenticeships, and free education for all."
Job market becoming a jungle (or zoo)!
Twycross Zoo, near Atherstone in North Warwickshire, drew 3,000 people recently. They turned up hoping to secure one of the 150 seasonal jobs on offer as part of a recruitment day - not for a day out.
Clive Dunkley, Nuneaton Socialist Party
The recruitment day did not actually start until 11am, but people had already started queuing by 9am. By 11.45am people were being turned away.
Staff members stood at the gates with notices saying: "recruitment drive over subscribed, thanks for your interest".
With all the interest an overspill car park had to be opened, which is normally only used on busy days such as bank holidays.
People from all walks of life turned out for the recruitment drive to compete for positions such as food and beverage assistants, retail assistants, rangers and cleaning assistants.
With so many people turning out there were tailbacks to the zoo stretching five miles long.
As the PR manager at the zoo said: "The response was absolutely unbelievable and it is quite clearly because of the recession.
"Normally our recruitment day is for students and people looking for seasonal work and we get around 200 people coming along to apply.
"We had people coming from all walks of life, from managers to PAs and every industry that you can think of.
"They were coming from all over the place. We had people who had come from London to Wales, so you can see that it doesn't matter what the job is as long as people are providing for their families."
This type of situation is being repeated over and over again all round the country as people realise that this recession is worse than anything we have seen in living memory.
Alongside skilled workers and managers, many in the queues were young people - many of whom are starting to draw the conclusion that it's the capitalist system to blame.
That's exactly why I would urge every one of them to join the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign.
See www.youthfightforjobs.com for further details.
In The Socialist 11 March 2009:
War and terrorism
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party workplace news