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10 March 2021

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The 'old normal' meant poverty for young people

Youth budget day protest 2015, photo Senan

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.

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In The Socialist 10 March 2021:

NHS pay

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'

Workplace news

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

Rosa Luxemburg

150th anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg's birth

Wealth Tax

Would a wealth tax end poverty and inequality?

Campaigns news

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

International news

Historic union battle at Alabama warehouse

10 years ago - the Fukushima nuclear disaster: "We came close to losing northern Japan"


The Socialist Inbox


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Article dated 10 March 2021

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