How to organise young workers

Published on: Fri, 11/01/2008 - 16:44


One of the most visible impacts of capitalist globalisation has been the massive expansion of low-paid (and often semi-casual) jobs in the service sector.

This “precarious” employment — in bars, restaurants, nightclubs, hotels, fast-food chains, supermarkets, high-street retailers, call centres and elsewhere — means long hours, barely-legal wages and unsafe working conditions. Young people fill these jobs.

According to a recent TUC survey, workers between the ages of 16-24 make up nearly a third of the total workforce in hotels and restaurants in the UK (migrant workers and women of all ages

Build for 25 October!

Published on: Wed, 09/10/2019 - 11:02

Misha Zubrowski

The UK group most centrally involved in organising youth climate strikes, UK Student Climate Network (UKSCN), is calling a “day of action” on 25 October.

It seems, currently, that the format will be more walkouts, another “climate strike”. The next global climate strike is set for 29 November.

20 September was the most recent climate strike, in which workers joined youth, taking part in workplace actions. Actions were taken in many places, including by many of us, although as a rule initiated by workplace activists without much direct support from the union nationally. This is likely to remain

Calling Andy Burnham to account

Published on: Wed, 02/10/2019 - 12:01

Nick Weightman

Thousands of young people gathered in Manchester’s St Peter’s Square on Friday 20 September. The protest was rather a warning to politicians who thought they could come along, mouth nice platitudes and pat young people on the head.

Lillia, a 10-year old climate activist (with her own blog), took Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham to task when he said he was “doing his best” and made a big deal of a new free 16-18 year old bus pass and his opposition to fracking.

Lillia skewered his “lies, when you don’t count the airport in emission figures” [Manchester Airport is owned by GM local

London Young Labour shuts down debate

Published on: Thu, 05/09/2019 - 09:00

Simon Duffy

In the winter of 2018, the left – backed by Momentum – took over London Young Labour from the right wing of the party. The largest lecture theatre at UCL, with a capacity of 400, was full, with members spilling out onto the floor.

This summer’s policy conference, on 24 August, had about 40 people. As if deliberately to minimise attendance, the conference had been called at three weeks’ notice, at the height of summer.

We were told off by a member of the committee for handing out leaflets unless we showed “politeness” by “asking the committee first, so we can check if it has offensive material”

Plans for climate action on 20 September

Published on: Thu, 05/09/2019 - 07:40

Mike Zubrowski

As record-breaking Hurricane Dorian tears across the Bahamas, destroying tens of thousands of homes and slotting into the longest recorded streak of category 5 Atlantic hurricanes — and as flames continue to devour chunks of the Amazon rainforest — workers, students and environmental activists worldwide are gearing up for a “climate strike” on Friday 20 September.

Alongside the school student action, UCU, BFAWU, IWGB and other unions are offering vocal support for actions on 20 Sep, although little concrete is yet to materialise from the unions centrally. TUC congress, 8-11 September, looks

Take action on 20 September

Published on: Wed, 14/08/2019 - 11:15

Mike Zubrowski

School students globally have called on workers to join their “Climate Strike” on Friday 20 September, and trade unionists, socialists, environmentalists are mobilising hard to make the most of it. This will kick off a week of action – everyone based in a workplace or active in a trade union should build for it.

Youth climate strikes so far have helped propel climate change, and the urgency of tackling it, back into public consciousness again. The politics and demands of the movement in the UK is, unsurprisingly, very mixed, but it has strong left-wing currents, including or especially among

Strikes, unions and climate change

Published on: Wed, 29/05/2019 - 11:22

Abel Harvie-Clark

The Green New Deal calls for an economic revolution to put people and planet before profit. In contrast many unions are still supporting environmentally destructive industries. Now is the time for worker-youth solidarity to demand climate and social justice.

Our school strike is more than just showing we care about the environment. We are striking for political change. We are striking to demand climate justice. A key part of that is the Green New Deal, to revolutionise our economics and put people before profit, because we recognise that social and climate justice go hand in hand.


Organise for 4 June anti-Trump demo

Published on: Wed, 22/05/2019 - 13:02

Maisie Sanders

Young supporters of Labour for a Socialist Europe went to Young Labour’s Political School in Birmingham on 11 May and spoke to lots of attendees about Brexit. We also hosted an evening social with Spoons Workers Against Brexit.

There was no mention of Brexit on the agenda or in Jeremy Corbyn’s opening speech, but we had a good reception with Labour for a Socialist Europe material and the Young Labour Left against Brexit statement.

Lots said the school was their first Labour event. As a follow up, Young Labour activists are discussing getting together a youth presence at the demonstration

London Young Labour in decline

Published on: Wed, 03/04/2019 - 12:26

Maisie Sanders

London Young Labour’s AGM on 31 March was billed by its organisers as “a packed day of elections and debates that will set the political direction of the organisation for the year”. But the only debate that took place was on the single motion to be heard: a statement in support of the Labour leadership’s Brexit strategy, out of date since the indicative votes took place in Parliament last week.

Since the Morning Star-oriented left won control of the committee last year, London Young Labour has run no outward facing campaigns. The committee itself has only met three times and generally not

Schools: we’ll strike each month

Published on: Wed, 27/03/2019 - 11:28

Eleanor Buffery is a year 8 school student in Gloucester who organised the local youth strike for climate. She spoke to Maisie Sanders.

I found out about the strikes in the local and national news and I thought it was really important. I read more about it, talked to my friends and we decided to take action! I got in touch with Youth Strike for Climate nationally, set up a social media page and got started organising our own strike.

In my school we spent lots of time making posters and adverts. We spoke to the Head of Year, who helped spread the word by sending out an email to students

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