THE Unison West Midlands Office yesterday morning gave its full support to the Young Socialists’ March for Jobs from London to the TUC Congress in Liverpool, on Day 9 of the march.
After teas and coffees, Keith Heron, Regional Manager of West Midlands Unison, told News Line: ‘The way this government have treated young people is nothing short of a disgrace.
‘Unemployment has hit young people disproportionately, leaving a generation scarred. The cuts have also hit young people unfairly, with cuts in benefits hitting youth particularly hard. No jobs and no benefits leave young people in an impossible position.
‘I think it is fantastic that a group of young people, have got up and decided to do something about it themselves.’
Mary Locke, on the Unison NEC, said: ‘Young people are the future. It’s fantastic that young people are marching from London to Liverpool. I hope the cabinet are watching. The TUC must take action for all people including youth, to help the economy of this country improve and improve the living standards for all.’
The march had arrived in the city after a gruelling 28-mile hike from Coventry on Tuesday.
The marchers were given a rousing welcome as they hit the town centre. Birmingham youth joined the march as they triumphantly made their way to the youth hostel where they were warmly greeted by Joe Morgan, Regional Secretary of GMB, who sponsored the marchers, and Geoff Dexter, PCS member who offered his own house as accommodation.
Joe Morgan told News Line: ‘The reason I feel it is so important to support the YS march to the TUC is because we need the youth in the movement to keep the rest of us on our toes, to ensure we don’t forget where we came from.
‘Your march is highlighting the terrible conditions the country is in under the Con-Dems, highlighting it will ensure that we reverse the austerity measures. I wish the marchers all the best on their route up the country.’
Geoff Dexter PCS member said: ‘Oxfam produced a shocking statistic in January. Eighty five people have as much wealth as half of the whole world, that is a double decker bus full.
‘What is even more shocking, is that that figure has now dropped to 65 people in just six months, so the rich have got richer and the poor poorer. I support the youth march for jobs. The march highlights these inequalities.
‘How can it be that one million youth are unemployed. If employers reduce the working week to 37 hours without loss of pay, that would create over two million jobs. If people were paid for their unpaid overtime, it would create another million jobs, the money is there.
‘I think it is an incredible achievement that young people are marching from London to Liverpool. The TUC should take action for jobs for youth. There is a mass coordinated strike in October, and I very much hope that that strike escalates.’