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The front of the Young Socialists march in Swindon for Jobs for Youth at trade union rates of pay
UNEMPLOYED youth will be forced to work unpaid for three months before they can claim benefits under plans announced by London Mayor Johnson and Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) Secretary Grayling.

Under the pilot scheme announced on Tuesday, 6,000 Londoners aged 18-24 will have to do 13 weeks of unpaid work or lose their £56-a-week benefits.

The slave labour scheme is planned to be running in London by the end of the year and will be launched nationally in 2013.

Liz Wyatt from Boycott Workfare said: ‘Grayling and Johnson are clutching at straws. After seeing their last youth workfare scheme fall apart after public anger at young people being forced to work in Tescos and Holland & Barrett, they are trying to rebrand their latest efforts as being for so-called community benefit.

‘But this will not fool the public who know that workfare in any guise is unacceptable.

‘The something-for-nothing culture that Grayling talks about is found amongst the organisations who are receiving free forced labour, not amongst our young people who receive only subsistence benefits.’

Employment Minister Grayling said: ‘Most young people are trying very hard to find work – and we should make sure that they get immediate help to do so.

‘But there are some who really are sitting at home and putting little effort into moving on in life.

‘Other countries take a much tougher approach. When it comes to benefits for young people straight out of education, forget it. You don’t get social security until you’ve worked and paid something in.

‘It’s time to look at a different way in Britain. A something-for-nothing culture does no one any favours.’

He added: ‘The usual suspects will cry “slave labour”. They always do. But they are the people who believe that young claimants have the right to sit at home playing computer games. I simply disagree.’

Grayling followed prime minister Cameron in describing opponents of work-for-your-dole slave labour as ‘Trotskyists’.

He said: ‘The real argument of the Trotskyist is that unpaid work experience is wrong, and is denying people the right to work; they are wrong.’

In a statement issued by the DWP, which announced that Airbus, Center Parcs and HP Enterprise Services were joining the scheme, Grayling claimed the ‘sanction regime’ would remain in place, because participants would lose their benefits if they were guilty of gross misconduct.

Joshua Ogunleye, National Secretary of the Young Socialists, said: ‘Young people demand proper jobs and a future and will not accept slave labour.

‘The desperation of this government to force young people to work for nothing only shows that British and world capitalism are completely bankrupt and must be overthrown.

‘The Young Socialists are lobbying the TUC on Sunday 9th September demanding jobs for youth, an end to education fees and that it calls a general strike to bring down the coalition.

‘We want a planned socialist economy, with the banks and industries nationalised and under workers’ control and management, so that we work for trade union rates of pay.
‘We are not slave labourers and we will never submit to slavery.’


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