- £15-an-hour minimum wage
- End zero-hour contracts
- Trade union rights
Damian Cosgrove, Youth Fight for Jobs East Midlands
During the pandemic, nearly two-thirds of job losses hit young workers. While some misleadingly claim the ‘post-Covid recovery’ is reversing this, the sad truth is that, with the end of furlough and the decline in seasonal work, the job market is looking increasingly grim for young workers.
Contrary to the propaganda of the right-wing press, my generation is not one of ‘work-shyness’. In my experience the opposite is true; there have been times when I have spent hours applying endlessly for work, only to end up in another insecure job with little scope for permanent employment, let alone progression.
We are a generation hit with huge levels of student debt, the highest rent costs in history, a tragically low minimum wage, a borderline-criminal apprentice wage, and a work pattern that is so chaotic that it is no surprise that a recent study found nearly half of all workers are close to burnout.
My experience of insecure service jobs has motivated me to get involved in the relaunch of the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign. Often the conversations around job creation consist of some establishment figures discussing which of our few workers’ rights can be thrown out of the window to encourage some corporation to give out a few zero-hour contract jobs. We think it’s about time job creation became something to empower people rather than exploit people. To put it simply, the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign is about the right to dignified work.
Dignified work means an end to poverty wages and dodgy contracts, the creation of real apprenticeships with guaranteed work for anyone who wants it, and the opportunity to have a meaningful voice in the workplace.
In many workplaces, workers’ rights are treated as optional and are constantly undermined. That is why we need to get organised in the trade unions to fight back and stand up to the bosses. This is why Youth Fight for Jobs links young workers with the existing trade unions – to fight for decent jobs for a new generation of workers.
- Join Youth Fight for Jobs protests 9 October