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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 January 2009

Youth Fight for Jobs

Defend jobs and services

The Youth Fight for Jobs initiative by International Socialist Resistance is a timely campaign against rising unemployment figures.

A Jobcentre Plus worker

Disgracefully, the government is still going ahead with its butchery of public services including the Ministry of Justice and Revenue and Customs. Job cuts at HMRC will exacerbate the woeful position in public finances as more and more tax goes uncollected from big businesses and rich individuals as the service cannot cope. There are already one million items of unopened mail, and that is before further jobs are slashed.

Unemployment is set to go over the three million mark during this recession, but the effects can already be seen. JobcentrePlus contact centre workers, who deal with new benefit claims, have been told to stop looking for jobs for people who ring up as it is unlikely there will be many available and the service is too short-staffed to cope.

Management suspended all non-essential training in January to cope with the increased demand. On 5 January, a record 68,000 calls were made to the national network - the previous record was 48,000. 15,000 of these calls were not answered. This is unprecedented.

Also on 5 January, nearly all computer programmes crashed en masse (more value for money from private contractors EDS?), resulting in a situation where people were told to ring back in an hour. Then, in an insane directive issued from the national management designed to make the percentage of calls answered look better, people were again asked to call back even after the computer systems had been fixed. So much for customer service!

Overtime is now freely available every Saturday and most weeknights as well, which is a new development for a service in which job security had been a big worry until recently. However, such a situation brings with it problems such as stress, as staff deal with more and more of the grim stories which make up the human side of this economic crisis.

The huge problem of unemployment cannot easily be solved. For some, in particular long-term unemployed people, it will require patient and determined encouragement and assistance to return to the world of work. Others may prefer to enter education, but are put off by the cost. This is an indictment of the introduction of university fees.

A massive expansion in childcare could provide jobs for many people and assist others to work part-time while their children are cared for. A significant reduction in the working week, together with massive investment in training and education, would combat unemployment and end the disgraceful situation where many people work themselves to the bone for 60 or more hours a week while others have no work at all.

International Socialist Resistance (ISR) launched the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign at the end of 2008 so that young people can organise and put forward a strategy that means a decent future. Join ISR!

ISR campaigns for:

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

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In The Socialist 28 January 2009:


Defend jobs and services

Era of illusions in capitalism ending

The crisis in manufacturing: Fighting for jobs and living standards

No pay discrimination against young people

Ferengi dealers

Slaughter in Gaza

Coventry protest over Gaza onslaught

Israel: Thousands march in Jaffa against Gaza massacre

Students' angry sit-ins


Stop the racist BNP

Stop the deportation of Yahya Al-Faifi

Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist councillor opposes Tory plans for education privatisation

Labour's abandoning of the working class

Croydon: Striking against academies

Scotland: Step up opposition to cuts

Fast News

Socialist Party workplace news

Fighting council cuts

Say 'no' to the Metro privateers

Amicus Unity Gazette left with egg on its face

Unison right wing exposed

Victory for left in Glasgow Unison

Solid support for Glasgow strike

Building a fighting Unison leadership


Build a mass movement for free education

Save our school!

Marxist analysis: history

Germany 1919 The Spartacist uprising

International socialist news and analysis

Russia: Bosses sack auto-factory union leader

Courageous socialist activist, campaigning journalist and human rights activist

Socialist Party news

Obituary - Barry Malone

Socialist Party reviews

A People's History of Sports in the United States

The Reader


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