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From The Socialist newspaper, 10 March 2021

The 'old normal' meant poverty for young people

Youth budget day protest 2015, photo Senan

Youth budget day protest 2015, photo Senan   (Click to enlarge)

Kris, Birmingham Youth Fight for Jobs

The budget was another nail in the coffin for the prospects of young people. Pre-Covid Britain was nothing to write home about regarding youth unemployment. But during this pandemic, there has been an absolute jobs massacre in hospitality and retail, which are primarily made up of young workers.

I still remember when infamous Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin sent out a video to all staff stating he was holding them to financial ransom - he was refusing to pay any furlough until he received confirmation from the government. But he said it was fine as everyone could just 'get a job at Tesco'. Many capitalist bosses threw young workers under the bus during lockdown - protecting their profits at all costs.

Last year, Chancellor Rishi Sunak promised 'kickstart' schemes for young people. Where are these kick-start schemes now? Neets - not in education, employment or training - rose by 39,000 to 797,000 in the final three months of 2020.

Young people are promised things are 'going back to normal'. However, before Covid, 'normal' was a generation dumped with zero-hour contracts, minimum wage, generational two-tier workforces, massive student debt, and overcrowded and overpriced sardine-tin houses.

Youth Fight for Jobs campaigners don't want to 'go back to normal', we are demanding and organising to fight to go back to something better!

Young people have already fought back with inspiring protests over Black Lives Matter, the A-level results scandal, and university rent strikes. Youth Fight for Jobs links these with the trade unions and organised workers' movement.

For example, we are supporting the fightback taking place by Unite the Union at Hinkley Point C dispute. Contractor MEH alliance is using Covid as a smokescreen to kickstart a race to the bottom. It is trying to deskill hundreds of apprenticeships in a brazen attempt at undercutting wages and conditions.

As a socialist and apprentice myself I find this repulsive, and this is why I'm supporting the Youth Fight for Jobs campaigns. Students and young workers who want to help fight for a society that is 'better than normal' should do the same.

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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.
  • 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 10 March 2021:


NHS pay

NHS pay - 15% now

NHS workers say: We are ready to fight Tory pay insult

Police disgracefully stop NHS pay protest


News

Super-deduction will help big business pay less tax

The 'old normal' meant poverty for young people


What we think

Tories keep bailing out bosses, while piling pain on workers and public services


Schools

Workers respond to 'back to school'


Workplace news

British Gas strikers reject deal and carry on fighting

Goodlord striker speaks out: 'workers have to fight for our skills to be appreciated'

Stop union busting on the buses: Reinstate Declan Clune and Moe Muhsin Manir

Sparks deskilling protests

Leicester university workers ballot for action against redundancies

Sainsbury's pay offer shows future will only be 'great pay' if we fight

PCS leadership failures lead to concession bargaining on pay

Manchester bus drivers' indefinite strikers fight on

London bus drivers continue walkout


Rosa Luxemburg

150th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg's birth


Wealth Tax

Would a wealth tax end poverty and inequality?


Campaigns news

Socialist women speak at inspirational International Women's Day online rally

Why I joined the Socialist Party - to fight for the future of the working class

Why I'm standing for TUSC

Build subscriptions to the Socialist

Fighting fund target achieved - keep up the momentum


International news

Historic union battle at Alabama warehouse

10 years ago - the Fukushima nuclear disaster: "We came close to losing northern Japan"


Letters

The Socialist Inbox


 

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Related links:

Poverty:

trianglePoverty increasing. Welfare state in crisis. Do we need a new Beveridge Report?

triangle1981 Brixton riots: Racism and poverty - the anger explodes

triangleWould a wealth tax end poverty and inequality?

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleLaunching a political alternative to cuts, poverty and job losses

Young people:

triangleThe system is broken... youth unite and fight back

triangleWe will not be the lost generation

triangleDefending the right to protest

triangleConference - Sunday 28 February

Youth:

triangleYouth under attack

triangle1981: New Cross Massacre

triangleSocialist Students conference

Jobs:

triangleCovid and precarious workers - union organisation vital

triangleLong Covid: Fight for jobs, benefits and services

Youth Fight for Jobs:

triangle1920s-30s Britain: A working-class movement fighting unemployment and capitalism

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