YOUNG people are bearing the brunt of the jobs crisis. Under 35s accounted for 80% of the 811,000 payroll jobs lost in the UK in the year to March! This was while the unemployment rate dipped to 4.9% in the three months to February – down from 5% previously.
Also, most of the UK was under strict lockdown rules for at least some of the period, with five million people employed but still on furlough.
The British Chamber of Commerce commented that ‘Unemployment remains on course to peak towards the end of 2021, once the furlough scheme expires and those who stopped job hunting during the pandemic look to return to the workforce as restrictions ease.
‘Although the furlough scheme will limit the peak in job losses, the longer-term structural unemployment caused by Covid-19, particularly among young people, may mean that the road back to pre-pandemic levels lags behind the wider economic recovery.’
In fact, finding work ‘feels impossible’ and is impossible for the younger generation, with the Office for National Statistics saying younger people are suffering disproportionately, with those aged under 35 accounting for 635,000 payroll jobs lost in the year to March, with 436,000 of those positions lost by people under 25.
The real pandemic picture is that the tax data for March showed 813,000 fewer payrolls on the PAYE system as against a year ago, and four fifths of those jobs were lost to under 35s.
The Bank of England expects an economic rebound this year as lockdown measures are eased and ‘government support for jobs continues’. However, the real situation is that the unemployed face a 1930s-type future as the bosses take advantage of the crisis to cut wages and sack thousands of workers with their ‘fire and rehire’ tactic, to create a slave labour UK.
Up to 500 engineers were sacked by British Gas last week for refusing to sign a scab, over £2,000 wage-cutting new contract, under the company’s fire and rehire onslaught. These workers took a stand by refusing to sign up to the new contracts.
The 500 British Gas engineers have not been locked out of their jobs. They have been sacked, with the GMB trade union leaders looking on and refusing to call national strike action to gain their reinstatement!
The rapacious bosses and the tame trade union leaders are helping to create a wage cutting hell for workers and a zero future for the masses of unemployed youth.
These fire and rehire tactics are shameful, and are being adopted by the ruling class as a whole to create a living hell for the working class and 1930s-style wages and conditions for its youth.
Today, all that remains of the British Gas jobs culled through the company’s ‘fire-and-rehire’ scheme is a graveyard depot of hundreds of British Gas vans waiting to be redistributed among those who agreed – under duress and after trade union leadership betrayal – to sign up to tougher new contracts.
The company’s aim? – improved productivity and bigger profits. The result for workers has been the dole queue for those who would not sign and a savage worsening of pay and conditions for young workers seeking jobs.
Fire and rehire tactics are now being implemented on the buses in London and Manchester and will soon be the rule in many other industries.
There is only one way out of this crisis that the bosses are imposing on the working class and the youth.
This is that Councils of Action must be set up in every area to unite the working class and the youth to defend every job and to smash the bosses fire and rehire offensive. Councils of Action, as well as organising the battle against the bosses, must force the TUC to call a general strike to bring down the Tories and bring in a Workers Government that will nationalise the banks and the major industries and put them under workers’ management.
The bosses and their ‘fire and rehire’ methods must be dumped into the dustbin of history, and the capitalist law of the jungle be replaced by a socialist nationalised planned economy based on the satisfaction of the needs of the working people! Only the WRP fights for this policy! Join it today!