23 September 2010
Speaking in favour of the motion on behalf of PCS, national young members' committee (NYMC) vice chair Helen Flanagan said: "The key to the resolution is point eight, which calls for a national demonstration against youth unemployment to be built for by the trade union movement before the end of 2010. Actually I think the TUC should have had a national demonstration against all cuts in October".
The motion came from the TUC youth conference in March. Then, PCS young members' played a vital role in debating key issues and winning support for the majority of the aims and demands included in the motion. The NYMC is now calling on trade unionists and campaigners to raise the need for the TUC to name a date for the demonstration as soon as possible. A branch model motion will be drafted by the NYMC for members to raise in their branches.
Commenting, NYMC chair Alan Warner said: "When the reality of the cuts bite, young people will not stand back and do nothing. No jobs, no education, no prospects. Young people are angry and need the support of the organised trade union movement to help them break the financial shackles which stops them having a decent future".
As the financial crisis unravels, youth unemployment has soared to record levels. Unemployment amongst 16- to 24-year-olds now stands near the politically sensitive one million mark. The recession means large-scale unemployment among those completing their education. Young people are forced into jobs in low-paid, low-skilled sectors, as competition for graduate opportunities and apprenticeships becomes far greater.
Congress believes it is the responsibility of the whole trade union movement to campaign for decent jobs and opportunities for young people. Tax payers’ money should be spent on investing in public services and creating jobs, instead of funding bonuses for bank bosses. Congress opposes the privatisation agenda. Money should be invested in a new social housing building programme to tackle the massive housing waiting lists and create new jobs for those unemployed within the construction industry and as well as supporting the cultural sector.
Trade unions and trades union councils nationwide are already supporting a mass mobilisation of young people to campaign for these aims through the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign. Congress calls on TUC young members to come together on the issue of youth unemployment to fight for real jobs on trade union rates of pay that offer the guarantee of a secure future for young people.
Congress calls on the General Council and affiliates to:
• Defend jobs and conditions in all sectors, to ensure people are fairly compensated in the event of job losses by campaigning for employment rights for all workers from day one
• Campaign for decent, permanent jobs for all young people, linked to the needs of communities and the environment
• campaign for apprentices to receive at least the full adult rate of the NMW from day one, unless that is superseded by a beneficial collective agreement, with at least one day a week set aside for paid training and a guaranteed job at the end of the scheme
• encourage the growth of, and work with, bodies seeking to organise the unemployed to harness their collective strength, while supporting them individually
• build for a national demonstration against youth unemployment across the trade union movement by the end of 2010