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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 (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.
- To join Youth Fight for Jobs please text your name and postcode to 07747 174833
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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.
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- 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 - 15% now
NHS workers say: We are ready to fight Tory pay insult
Police disgracefully stop NHS pay protest
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
Workers respond to 'back to school'
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
150th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg's birth
Would a wealth tax end poverty and inequality?
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
Historic union battle at Alabama warehouse
10 years ago - the Fukushima nuclear disaster: "We came close to losing northern Japan"
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