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From: The Socialist issue 602, 18 November 2009: Fighting for a future

Search site for keywords: Youth Fight for Jobs - Youth - Unemployment - Young people - Jobs - YFJ - Matt Wrack - Alex Gordon - John McDonnell - Joe Higgins - Bob Crow - Janice Godrich

Scourge of mass youth unemployment

Fighting for a future

March for jobs on Saturday 28 November

Youth unemployment is at a record high and what does the government do? It plans to slash funding for youth training schemes.
Socialism 2009, photo by Rob Emery

What do the bosses do? They cut jobs, pay and conditions.
What do the main political parties do? They all insist that university tuition fees are the best way to fund education, despite the enormous debt this entails.
But young activists, trade unionists and socialists have a different approach.
The Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) demonstration on 28 November is an important opportunity to build the fightback that is necessary to fight for a decent future for this generation of young people.
Left labour movement leaders explain why they support this march:

An active response by the youth to mass unemployment and attacks on free education is precisely what is needed at this time.

I know, from my EU parliament vantage point, that the surge in unemployment has particularly hit young people hard. I therefore urge as many young people as possible to come out on 28 November which I hope will mark the beginning of a sustained fightback by young people.

- Joe Higgins Socialist Party MEP

This march highlights the plight of the million young people who are now unemployed and the many more who are facing joblessness as a result of this recession. Young people are being forced to pay for the economic crisis whilst bankers award themselves another £5 billion in bonuses this month. I support the march and urge people to join this campaign to demand action against youth unemployment.

- John McDonnell MP

Unemployment is a massive human cost to accept. Capital can't provide full employment for young workers. It's even more damaging with one in five young people being unemployed. It's important that we place young people at the core of our aims and objectives, to achieve developing policies for them.

- Bob Crow, RMT union general secretary

I would urge all trade union members, not only young members, to attend this important march. At a time when working people are being expected to pay the price for an economic recession that they haven't caused, it's vital that we make it clear that the right to work is a fundamental right of all working people, and young people in particular.

- Janice Godrich, PCS union president

Trade unionists should support the demonstration on 28 November. Young people are bearing the brunt of the job losses, the pay cuts and the short-time working caused by the current global economic crisis. It is up to all of us - but especially trade unionists - to carry on the fight for real union-organised jobs and a decent future for young people. See you on the demo behind the RMT banner.

- Alex Gordon, RMT national executive committee

The trade unions must ensure that the horror of mass unemployment among young people is at the heart of political debate in the UK today. We cannot afford to see another generation thrown on the scrapheap. That means we must demand genuinely free education and decent jobs and training on union rates of pay. Young people themselves have to be at the heart of campaigning around these issues and I hope that the demonstration is a significant step towards achieving this.

- Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary

In a recent survey, almost a quarter of young people said there was no political party that represented their views. The YFJ is an inclusive campaign with many key demands for workers and young people alike. Young people have had enough of the greed and corruption that has engulfed mainstream politics, YFJ provides the much needed alternative and a platform for young people to vent their anger and fight for change. I would urge all trade unionists to attend the demo and encourage and support young people in your branches. We are the activists of the future and we know we have a future worth fighting for.

- Alan Warner, PCS National Young Members Committee chair

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