Socialist Party on Megaphone Photo: Mary Finch
Socialist Party on Megaphone Photo: Mary Finch

Build trade union-led action to fight for our future

Mobilise a mass youth turnout to the TUC demo on 18 June

A major cost-of-living crisis looms over young people in Britain. Young workers make up the majority in some of the most precarious sectors, like retail, accommodation, and food services. The use of zero-hour contracts and discriminatory youth rates of pay is widespread.

We want independent and fulfilling lives of our own, but how can we move out of our family homes when rents are so high? How can we go to the places we want when petrol, or transport and bus fares, are simply unaffordable? After we graduate from university, how can we save for any kind of secure future when we’re plagued by a lifetime of student loan repayments?

While the cost-of-living crisis makes life for us – the working-class majority – harder, the likes of supermarket chains, housing companies, and the energy and fuel giants make record profits. We say that the massive wealth hoarded by the top companies should be used to provide a decent future for all workers and young people.

But the super-rich won’t just give away their wealth when asked. In order to make them pay up, the working-class majority in society must come together as a mass movement to fight for decent jobs, pay and homes for all.

Workers who are organised in the trade union movement give a glimpse of the way forward. The trade union movement – with 6 million members organised in workplaces across the country – is potentially the most powerful vehicle for mass collective struggle against the super-rich and their defenders within the political establishment.

More and more workers are organising in their unions to take strike action and fight against real-terms pay cuts. Unite the union members alone won £25 million in pay rises during the first 100 days of new general secretary Sharon Graham’s leadership. HGV drivers in Liverpool and employed by Wincanton won 17% and 24% pay rises respectively after taking strike action. This isn’t to mention the stand taken by JustEat couriers, bus and train drivers, university workers and others. These strikes prove when workers stand together we can take on the bosses and win!

For young people to resist the spiralling cost of living, we need to get organised too. That’s why its crucial young workers not only join, but get involved in, their trade union, and campaign for the action necessary to fight for our futures.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) – the body joining together all the trade unions in England and Wales – could play a vital role in fighting for young people’s futures. It has organised a national demo on 18 June. Let’s fight for a mass participation of young workers, to give our generation a glimpse of the full force of the trade union movement.

  • Youth Fight for Jobs campaigns for trade union action for young people’s future. Find out more at youthfightforjobs.com