Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/575/7177
Youth Fight for Jobs: What next to build the campaign?
Three Youth Fight for Jobs bankers ask
Support for 'Youth Fight for Jobs' (YFJ) continues to grow. John McDonnell MP has now given his support. The national launch conference of YFJ, on Saturday 9 May at University College London, is the next big event for this important campaign. Tickets are now available.
Leafleting schools, colleges, universities, workplaces, job centres, youth clubs and all places where there are young people is now urgent. If you need leaflets, petitions or posters contact YFJ on 020 8558 7947, or for any other help and advice.
Here, national campaign coordinator Sean Figg provides some ideas for building the YFJ campaign in your area.
School, college and university leavers
In July 600,000 young people will leave education and many will want jobs. Given the current economic crisis, most won't find a decent secure job and many will face the dole queue.
This will create enormous anger and frustration among young people who have been promised that, if they work hard, they will have a bright future. YFJ provides a way for these young people to organise their anger into action. Before the term ends, dish out leaflets, set up campaign stalls and make sure young people know about the campaign.
May Day, international workers' day, presents an opportunity to raise the campaign's demand for the right to a decent job.
Will there be a May Day march in your area? Can you organise a group of YFJ supporters to go on the march? Can you arrange campaign stalls? You may have a chance to meet and discuss the campaign with trade unionists in your area.
If nothing has been organised locally, can you organise a demonstration or a protest?
Bankers appeal for more bail outs , photo Senan
'Fat cat' stunts, where people dress up as bankers, swaggering around with tax payers' money, have been an effective way to raise opposition to 'pay-offs for the bankers, lay-offs for the workers'.
Can you organise similar or original street theatre in your area?
Organise a local meeting for YFJ. Local campaign organisers should prepare a short speech about the situation faced by young workers and the role of the YFJ campaign. National organisers can help with this or send a speaker if needed. You could also invite local trade unionists, youth workers etc to speak.
Bombard the local press with letters, press releases, photos etc. Local newspapers, radio and TV should be contacted about all campaign activity.
Shaming the bosses
Set up a 'wall of shame' in a busy area where young people can name and shame low-paying bosses and expose job cuts.
You could also use a questionnaire to gather information to use as part of a protest stunt against bosses who are making young people pay for the economic crisis.
Exposing the politicians
What does the council do to ensure all workers get the minimum wage? How do they make sure young people are aware of their rights at work?
If you find out about rip-off bosses, help the exploited workers to organise a lobby at the council, demanding that the council send monitoring officers to investigate.
Don't let local councils let themselves off the hook! Demand that the council and government increase apprenticeships that pay trade union rates of pay for young people.
YFJ is getting a very good response from local trade union branches up and down the country. We need their support to build links with workers. Donations toward the upcoming conference, producing leaflets etc won't hurt either!
We should also encourage motions of support for YFJ to be sent to the national union conferences.
Producing huge numbers of leaflets costs money. We want to make sure there is enough material to build this campaign in every area - but that means all supporters helping with finance.
Can you organise a gig, a cake sale, a car boot sale, a sponsored walk or run or swim or climb, or some other imaginative fundraising event?
Blow your own trumpet - tell everyone about your successes!
Take photographs, take video footage and write reports of your campaigning activities and send it to the national organisers. Letting people know that activities are taking place up and down the country will inspire them to get involved.
Youth Fight for Jobs conference
Saturday 9 May
Cruciform, Lecture Theatre 1, University College London (UCL), London WC1E 6BT. Near Euston and Warren Street tube and rail stations
10-11am - registration
11-12.30pm - opening rally
Speakers include Bob Crow, RMT general secretary; Tracy Edwards, PCS young members network; and activists from the campaign.
12.30-1.30pm - lunch
1.30-3pm - workshops
Topics include: current workplace struggles to save jobs; organising the YFJ campaign; the politicians' reaction to the crisis; and defending your rights at work.
3-3.30pm - what way forward for the campaign?
Discussion, resolutions & voting.
3:30-4:30pm - closing rally.
Speakers include Sean Figg, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser, activists from Greece, and more...
In The Socialist 15 April 2009:
Stop the slaughter of Tamils
Socialist Party election campaign
Socialist Party workplace news
Youth fight for jobs
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis