Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/589/7591
YFJ steering committee report
No to the Future Jobs Fraud
With the number of unemployed young people rapidly approaching one million, building Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) is more urgent than ever. With a reduced increase in university places, tens of thousands of young people are being cut out of higher education and Peter Mandelson is proposing a rise in university fees. But as the first YFJ campaign steering committee meeting made clear, we will not take this situation lying down!
Ben Robinson, YFJ national chair
The YFJ steering committee outlined a series of important steps for building the campaign throughout the autumn, including discussing the potential for a demonstration.
The meeting was introduced by Sean Figg, national organiser for the campaign, outlining some of the main features of the situation that young people face.
Against the background of a continuing crisis for capitalism, attacks on young people's conditions at work and in education continue. Schools, colleges and universities all face shortfalls in funding, with big battles against cuts and course closures involving workers and students likely.
Young workers face the threat of job losses, but will also be inspired by militant struggles, such as that taking place at Vestas currently. Young people with jobs are often on the worst conditions, with worse pension provision than older workers, for example.
The prospect of mass youth unemployment looms large, and there was discussion on the urgent need to put the case for an organised fightback and the danger of the growing anger being expressed in other ways if this isn't done.
The government's answers are severely lacking. The Future Jobs Fund (FJF) opens the door to young people being used as slave labour, to the conditions of workers already in employment being driven down and could, in reality, lead to job losses, not job creation. (The Socialist will carry further analysis on the FJF in future issues)
In a serious discussion, the steering committee agreed to organise a series of protests on these issues. Bringing together students and young workers, we plan to organise national protests. We want to make it clear that this FJF scheme is inadequate for the needs of young people.
In the workplaces involved in FJF we will campaign for trade unions to oppose young workers having worse conditions than the established workforce, for 'placements' to lead to jobs and against volunteers filling job vacancies.
We will take the campaign to the MPs, to ensure that they are fully aware of the opposition that exists to this scheme and the attack on young workers and the wider working class it represents.
YFJ members will also be taking the campaign to the job centres, explaining to young unemployed workers the reality of this scheme and the need to unite with the trade unions for a genuine employment scheme. We will also appeal to Jobcentre workers for support.
There are a series of other protests which YFJ will support, such as the PCS Young Members Network/ National Pensioners Convention demonstration on Sunday 13 September, protests against the Labour Party, and also YFJ's very own Kyly Wilson on the fourth plinth in Trafalgar Square on 9 August at 4pm!
With a vibrant, fighting, active campaign, YFJ will build the biggest resistance to the recession possible.
In The Socialist 29 July 2009:
War and occupation
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party Marxist analysis
Youth fight for jobs
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party review
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party news and analysis