Monthly Archives: April 2011

Interview and support from John McDonnell MP

John McDonnell spoke to Paul Callanan, Youth Fight for Jobs national organiser, and Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary –

John Said “The Government’s unemployment figures came out this week, showing that unemployment has reached 2.53 million, with nearly a million youg people under 24 now unemployed. I am really fearful of effect this will have on the lives of so many youngsters. I remember what happened in the 1980s when unemployment scarred the lives of so many young people then and for a long time to come. A group of young people have got together to retrace the steps of the Jarrow unemployed workers, who 75 years ago marched to London to highlight the plight of the unemployed. I am supporting this march because I believe that we need to put pressure on the Government to do more to create jobs and help young people get into work, training or higher education. I raised this issue in Parliament by tabling an Early Day Motion on Wednesday.”

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Youth unemployment still rising – Join the Jarrow march

Paul Callanan
Last Wednesday the latest unemployment figure revealed that young people are still among the worst hit by the economic crisis and Con-Dem cuts. The number of 18-24 year olds not in employment rose by 12,000 to 963,000 in the three months leading up to February.

This is on top of 218,000 16-17 year olds out of work. The number of graduates not working is currently at the same rate as before, one in five.

The government’s answer to this is to turn young people into an army of slaves. It has proposed various schemes to combat the problem of youth unemployment.

One was proposed in January by Work and Pensions secretary Chris Grayling. He put forward the idea that 16-17 year olds who can’t find work should do unpaid “work experience” for up to four months at a time.

Last year Iain Duncan Smith proposed that the unemployed should do tasks like litter picking and gardening. These are tasks that should be done by well paid and properly trained workers.

If the government really meant to help young people get off the scrap heap than it would invest in public services and provide training for young people to do these jobs.


Instead it is launching a huge assault on public sector jobs and services. This government is cutting over 700,000 public sector jobs as well as terms and conditions.

The assault will have a knock on effect on the private sector where those young people that do work barely keep their heads above water in low paid insecure jobs.

As a result of the cuts, fewer working people will have money to spend and many contractors will lose jobs they have with the private sector. The assault on pensions will also see young people lose out as many older workers will be forced to work until they drop.

This will mean even fewer vacancies for young people. The government probably hopes that this will divide working class people into young and old rather than focussing on the common enemy, the government and its big business puppet masters.

What is needed in order to push back this assault is the biggest working class movement seen in generations. We need a movement of young workers, the unemployed and students to defeat this ConDemolition.

The student movement at the end of last year showed what can be achieved by mass movements. The massive student demonstration on 10 November, when over 50,000 marched against attacks on the right to an education, led to a tidal wave of strikes, protests and occupations sweeping across the country.

The pressure of that movement has already led to concessions. In Wales and Scotland the devolved governments have pledged not to scrap EMA and raise fees.

The Con-Dems have also been forced to bring in a bursary scheme to help stave off the worst effects of the scrapping of EMA.


The magnificent TUC demonstration on 26 March was an important step towards a united movement against the savage austerity programme of this government.

Up to 750,000 people marched against the cuts. The march was composed mainly of trade unionists but unemployed youth and students also marched alongside them.

This demonstrated the seething anger out there over the destruction of public services and should just be the start of the fight back.

The Jarrow March for Jobs being organised for October can become a focal point for that movement. This year is the 75th anniversary of the Jarrow crusade.

In 1936, 200 unemployed men from Jarrow in the North East marched to London to protest against high unemployment and the appalling conditions they lived in.

If recent events have proven anything then it is that capitalism has failed to address those problems in the 75 years since that march. That’s why this October young people will be doing that march again.

We will hold protests in towns and cities on the route to say No to the Con-Dem swingeing attacks on our rights and living standards. We will be demanding real jobs, on decent pay and conditions, not slave labour schemes.

We want apprenticeships that pay the going rate for the work and guarantee a job at the end, not to be trapped in an endless cycle of ‘working poverty’.

We demand the right to a decent free education, grant funded, not to be buried under mountains of debt for most of our working lives. And we say no to all cuts.

We won’t pay for a crisis caused by the bosses and banksters.

This October young people will be taking to the streets to say that we won’t be a lost generation! We will fight for jobs and education!

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students – fight back! join the Jarrow March for jobs

-student activists to join young unemployed on Jarrow march for a future!
As thousands of young people predicted, two thirds of universities have announced plans to charge the maximum £9,000 a year in tuition fees. Youth Fight for Education condemns this enormous attack on young people, which threatens to deny hundreds of thousands the opportunity of having a decent education and a decent future.
Claire Laker- Mansfield of Youth Fight for Education said:
‘Once again, young people have been lied to by Cameron and Clegg. They claimed £9,000 a year fees would be an exception- far from it! But if they think young people will simply accept this outcome, they are mistaken. Newly elected NUS president Liam Burns may think the fight is over on fees, but the hundreds of thousands of students who protested last year without the blessing of NUS will not be held back by his defeatism. On November 5th, when the Youth Fight for Jobs (YFJ) ‘Jarrow March for Jobs’ arrives in London, a mass demonstration of youth and students is planned. We’ll be demanding the right to go to university and to pay what David Cameron and Nick Clegg did when they went – £0! We’ll be demanding the full restoration of EMA. And, we’ll be saying we won’t put up with 1 million young people being unemployed and with this government cutting jobs left right and centre. They should be investing in our future. We won’t be a lost generation!’
On the 75th anniversary of the original Jarrow march, YFJ will be marching again to demand the right to decent jobs. The march will be starting in Jarrow on October 1st and arriving in London on November 5th, when a national demonstration will take place.
Ben Robinson, YFJ National Chair said:
‘’It was not young or working class people who caused this crisis- so why are we being made to pay for it? With fees being tripled and jobs being cut, while once a short cut to a good job, a university education is now seen by many as an expensive detour to the dole queue. All the while the people who got us into this mess continue to enjoy enormous bonuses!’
Youth Fight for Jobs was launched at the start of the recession to combat the growing effects of youth unemployment. It has the backing of  six national unions, the lecturers’ union UCU,  Unite, PCS, RMT, CWU, BECTU and many other trade union and student bodies.

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Jarrow-meter Fundraising goes over £3,500!

Thankyou to all the Trade Unions/branches/individuals that have voted to support the Jarrow march and have donated so far including;

£1,000 from Matt Wrack’s (FBU General Secretary) campaign fund, £1,000 from the FBU nationally, £300 from the RMT London Region, £500 from RMT LU Engineering, £500 from a Unite branch, £150 from Lewisham NUT branch, £100 from Hull Trades Council, £100 from Unison UEL branch and over £100 in individual donations!

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Philosophy Football support march and donate T-Shirts for gig raffle


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May Day fundraiser gig in London

May day is international workers solidarity day, to celebrate solidarity between workers young and old, in different industries, of different nationalities. Last year in Hull, Youth Fight for Jobs held the first may day demonstration in recent memory! In London this year, to raise the profile of, and cash for, the Jarrow to London march, London Youth Fight for Jobs is holding a may day fundraiser gig, together with the PCS young members network – see flyer below and the facebook group here –!/event.php?eid=158317514228005 . All welcome! For those outside London, why not think about putting on one yourselves? Contact us and we’ll put it up on the blog.

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Jarrow song

Someone has drawn our attention to the Jarrow Song, by Alan Price, former member of the Animals. This song is about the original jarrow crusade, and the video here on youtube features some footage of the march. We will be writing to Alan to ask if he will support our march today for jobs – watch this space!


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