Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/811/18616
The Socialist 14 May 2014 |
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From Britain to Seattle to Brazil
Fight back to scrap junk jobs
Protesting against zero-hour contracts in Lewsham, photo Jim Jepps (Click to enlarge)
Claire Laker-Mansfield, Youth Fight for Jobs
Britain is no country for young people. It's got so bad that journalists have invented a new term to describe a special 'phase' of life which our generation experiences.
Apparently we're all going through a 'quarter life crisis': It's that time in your mid to late 20s when you realise that your hopes and aspirations are as far away as ever.
It's waking up and remembering your piles of student debt while you wait for a call telling you whether you'll get any hours work for your zero-hour contract job. It's wondering if you'll ever be able to afford to move out of your parents' place, let alone get onto the property ladder and away from extortionate private rents. And it's the feeling of failure that comes from being constantly told that it would all have been different if you'd just tried a bit harder.
But the people responsible for the 'quarter life crisis' - just like the financial one - are not those suffering as a result of it. Our future has been snatched away by the rich 1% and their representatives in the three main parties. Bankers got bailed out while young people got sold out.
But we don't have to put up with being forced onto the scrap heap. Young people are full of skill, talent and ingenuity. If the capitalist system doesn't allow us to use all that - and won't reward us fairly when it does - then the system is what needs changing.
Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) is organising to demand a future for the 99%. We're not resigned to working zero-hour contract jobs paid a minimum wage. We say if we get organised we can stop this super-exploitation and fight for the dignity and security we deserve.
On 15 May, we'll be targeting the multinational giant McDonalds. International protests will be hitting them with a clear message: We won't put up with rock bottom wages, zero job security and bullying bosses.
Around the world we're drawing inspiration from the strikes that American fast food workers have taken, and especially the fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage in Seattle led by Kshama Sawant and Socialist Alternative. We are warning that, from Britain to Brazil to New Zealand, workers are fighting back.
YFJ is working alongside the bakers' union as part of the Fast Food Rights campaign. So get involved in the fight for your future. Join us for protests around the country (and the world)!
See www.youthfightforjobs.com for details of the protest