The Socialist 28 September 2011
Mass strikes can kick out Con-Dems
PDFs for this issue
Why are you supporting the march?
Three-quarters of a century on, the young people recreating this famous march are sending an important message that our communities must never again be abandoned to pay for an economic crisis they did not cause.
Instead of cutting jobs, pay and working conditions - and hacking away at our public services and our welfare state - the government should be investing to provide work and clamping down on the wealthy tax dodgers who deprive our public finances of tens of billions of pounds a year.
As we prepare for the largest public sector strike in decades as part of our fight against these cuts, on behalf of PCS, I send solidarity to the marchers and wish them well on their journey for justice.
Mark Serwotka, general secretary of the PCS civil servants union
If the trade union movement doesn't stand by the young people in the frontline of the Con-Dem attack on jobs and services we will witness a re-run of the Thatcher government's cynical dumping of a whole generation onto the scrap heap.
This ideological government of millionaires, backed by big business, could not care less for those who get trampled in their dash to drive a bulldozer through our communities.
The betrayal of Bombardier shows in graphic terms what's at stake - apprentices and a state-of-the-art training centre sacrificed in order to appease global finance capital and the EU.
RMT's fight for the future of manufacturing jobs in train building, and the apprenticeships that run alongside them, rages on.
RMT is totally behind the Youth Fight for Jobs Jarrow march and will support it in the towns, villages and cities as it heads down from the North East.
RMT will not be found wanting when it comes to solidarity with the youth, and any other sections of our community, in the frontline of the fightback.
Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT transport workers union
The Fire Brigades Union supports the March for Jobs because youth unemployment is a national scandal.
The policies of the coalition government are destroying the future for a generation and it is fantastic to see young people getting organised and fighting back.
The memory of the unemployed campaigns of the 1920s and 30s should provide a lesson for the trade union movement today.
We cannot allow ourselves to be divided between those with work and those without it - that will only strengthen the government and our employers who want to use the recession to drive down our wages and conditions and to destroy our pensions.
We need a united fight against unemployment and for good quality, union organised jobs. We cannot allow this generation to be sacrificed because of the failures of the banks and big business.
I hope this campaign brings a new generation of young activists into the labour movement to fight for a future and to put the demands of young people to the trade union movement.
Matt Wrack, general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union
My union RMT is proud to be supporting the Jarrow March for Jobs organised by Youth Fight for Jobs. The RMT-sponsored Easington Colliery brass band will play the marchers out of Jarrow and my general secretary, Bob Crow will welcome them to London at the rally at the end of the march in Trafalgar Square on 5 November.
We know young people are the first victims of the capitalist crisis, which is unfolding before our eyes. Day after day permanent job vacancies and apprenticeships dry up, new entrants, temporary and casual staff are shown the door and young people in Britain get doubly punished by having their educational opportunities snatched away from them with withdrawal of EMA and massive increases in student fees.
In some ways young people face worse problems today even than those my generation faced during the 1980s recession, because the labour market is now global and employers encourage cut-throat competition for jobs among a 'reserve army of labour' from all across the EU.
The march for jobs is an opportunity to rally together behind some inspiring (and very fit) young workers who are showing us that it doesn't have to be this way. Good jobs and a good future for young people have to be fought and campaigned for. Youth Fight for jobs has always campaigned for young people to be active in trade unions and organised at work. You don't have to accept 'McJobs'. We deserve better than that.
Alex Gordon, president RMT train workers union
Teachers and students work hard for the exam results that are meant to open the door for our school leavers to full-time work or further study. Yet, this summer, 200,000 have been left without a university place. The scrapping of the EMA has stolen away vital financial support from many thousands more 16-19 year olds. One in five young people are already unemployed - and the cuts mean there is worse to come.
Youth deserve better - but, as we've found over teachers' pensions - to defeat cuts and defend your future, you have to organise. The 2011 Jarrow March is exactly what's needed to galvanise young people into that organised fightback. I'll be backing the march - as is my local NUT Association in Lewisham.
I hope teachers and all trade unionists will be welcoming the marchers right along the route and publicising this tremendous initiative in our schools and workplaces.
Martin Powell-Davies, member of the National Union of Teachers executive
In this issue
Building for 30 November strike
Jarrow march for jobs
The Socialist's editorials
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Socialist Party review