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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 March 2012

No to workfare - fight for a genuine alternative

Paul Callanan, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser

Cait Reilly, one of the young people forced to work for free under the existing schemes is in the process of a judicial review of the government's workfare policies. Young people are also fighting back through continued Youth Fight for Jobs protests. But help from on high is not at hand.

Last week a Labour Party youth conference took place. At the top of the agenda was discussion around the Con-Dem workfare scheme. But in a depressingly predictable turn of events the talk wasn't about posing a real alternative that can offer real jobs on good conditions. Instead the key note speaker, party leader Ed Miliband unveiled Labour's workfare-lite scheme.

This scheme bears an uncanny resemblance to the present ones being touted by the government. As with all the others it would entail a subsidy going to big businesses - though this time for taking on young people on minimum wage for six months.

Young people will be 'offered' this after six months unemployed but will lose their benefits if they refuse. So basically nobody will be paid Jobseekers Allowance for more than six months at the end of which you have to accept a job of their choosing.

And of course there is no guarantee of a permanent job at the end of the six months. Labour are so wedded to the ideas of capitalism that they cannot come up with genuine solutions to the problem of unemployment.

Youth Fight for Jobs and Education have called for a day of action to take place on Wednesday 21 March to coincide with yet another cuts budget being announced by the Con-Demolition. We are putting forward a budget for the '99%'.

We demand that the government invests in the public sector and rolls out a programme of public works to provide socially useful jobs that pay decent wages and give decent conditions.

For more info see www.youthfightforjobs.com

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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In The Socialist 21 March 2012:


Fighting the cuts

Tell the Con-Dem government: NO CUTS!

Prepare for future struggle - build the trade union left

Build a strategy to win on pensions

Stop the NHS sell-off - National demo now!

Stroud: Labour lets NHS down again


Socialist Party features

Capitalism isn't working: Time to fight for socialist change

Fight or privatise: A tale of two councils


Socialist Party news and analysis

Budget: far from 'all in it together'

Student walkout: Socialist Students show what could have been

No to workfare - fight for a genuine alternative

Defend the right to protest!

Youth demand future at Dundee sham summit

Them & Us


Socialist Party workplace news

MMP packaging: workers still locked out

Swindon hospital workers fight bullying

Construction workers demand better pay and conditions

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

The 'Kony 2012' phenomena

Sri Lanka's Killing Fields: War Crimes Unpunished


Reviews and readers' comments

Smear campaign on Hillsborough?

Single and video: ill Manors by Plan B


 

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