Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

From The Socialist newspaper, 12 January 2010

Decent jobs - not slave labour

Sean Figg takes the Youth Fight for Jobs petition to Downing Street, photo by Sarah Mayo

Sean Figg takes the Youth Fight for Jobs petition to Downing Street, photo by Sarah Mayo   (Click to enlarge)

Want a job? Fine, but don't expect to be paid! That's the message from employers who put profits before young people's basic rights. Companies, such as the chain '99p Stores' which takes around 300 million a year, are asking people to take no pay during 'trial' periods.

Ben Robinson, Youth Fight for Jobs national chair

This is clearly an attempt to treat young people as slaves and rebuild profits by super-exploiting workers. What is worse is that this is often done through Jobcentres or government schemes such as Work Trials or the National Internship Scheme for graduates - in other words slave labour is perfectly legal and legitimate.

This gives the lie to the idea that young people are lazy and do not want to work. Instead there are those so desperate that they will work for free for long stretches in the hope of a permanent job. The effects of long-term unemployment are enough to make clear why, with many jobseekers reporting depression and unhappiness. What kind of a society is it that condemns millions to this rather than making use of their abilities and talents?

The desire to work is clear. However, Labour and Tory policy scapegoats the unemployed. Millions of pounds are spent on forcing people on benefits to look for jobs, on under-resourced training courses, on checking up on their progress and on stopping benefits when criteria aren't met, plunging people's lives into chaos.

The fundamental flaw with this is that the jobs aren't there! The latest government figures are 432,000 vacancies for the 2.49 million unemployed people. Wouldn't it be better to put money into creating jobs, to make use of people's willingness to work?

Instead the politicians' attitude is 'damned if you do, damned if you don't'. Young people are asked to work for free or to take temporary jobs like those included in the Future Jobs Fund, essentially providing the means to restore profits or shore up cash-strapped services.

Meanwhile bankers get paid a fortune. 60 billion has been allocated to their bonus pools for 2009's work 'performance' - a year in which the banks had to write off billions in bad debts and call again and again for bailouts from the public purse.

The Mirror reported on a young woman with a qualification in childcare. After six months of unpaid work at retailer Dorothy Perkins she got a job at 99p Stores, but only after two weeks of working 14-hour days there for free. Most parents would prefer to see money spent on investing in decent, publicly run childcare facilities, rather than continually propping up the fat cats' bonuses.

This system is fundamentally flawed. Youth Fight for Jobs demands that instead of bailing out the bosses with free labour, the government should be investing in providing decent jobs and training and free education so young people can develop their skills and talents and contribute to society. Get active in YFJ and fight back!

Protest against bankers' bonuses

City of London,

20 January 5pm.

See for more details or call 020 8558 7947

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

In The Socialist 12 January 2010:

Decent jobs - not slave labour

Protest against bankers' bonuses

Leeds City Council Future Jobs Fund is no solution

Trade Unionists and Socialist Coalition

Launch of Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Socialist Party news and analysis

Labour's leadership crisis - time for a new workers' party

Global warming chills the north

The real cost this winter

Iceland debt crisis: Make the 'dirt bags' pay!

No to County Council cuts in Warwickshire!

Fast news

Northern Ireland

Corruption scandal grips Northern Ireland

Socialist Party workplace news

Fujitsu workers say: "Enough is enough"

Signallers' strike spreads

Buses - privatisation means worse services

Teesside fight to save jobs

Twinings jobs meeting

Hospital workers battle on

Unison Witchhunt

Unison witch-hunt: Shock exposures at Employment Tribunal

Workplace Feature

Call centres: Union campaign makes important gains

Socialist Party international feature

Greece - on the edge of a volcano

International socialist news and analysis

Sri Lanka presidential elections: No to the two warmongers!

Israel: Instability, class polarisation and socialism

Chile - Freedom for Elena Varela


Hard chimes for Pompey


Home   |   The Socialist 12 January 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  

Related links:

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangleJarrow March: an inspiring show of solidarity between workers and youth

triangleUnison Broad Left meeting

triangleNSSN lobby of the TUC: an urgent time for our movement

triangleBFAWU conference 2016: "A council of war"

triangleDay of action against poverty pay: 10 now!


triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts


triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleRBS to sack 1,000: nationalise the banks

Young people:

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents



Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell



Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos



Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts



Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated



Bradford campaign to save children's services launched


South London

South London health bosses' cover-up



Unite day of action against blacklisting



Brighton victory



Newham anti-academies strikes


Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting



Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout



Unite protest against blacklisting



Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee


Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017





















Platform setting: = No platform choice