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Issue #1690      June 24, 2015

Young workers – Unite to Fight

Statement by Young Communist League – Sydney District

The Abbott government has set out to impose “austerity” on the great majority of Australians – workers, students, pensioners and unemployed. Like most governments around the world it aims to make the people pay for the crisis capitalism – the employer class, especially big business – has got itself into.

This means the workforce of this coming generation can expect lower living standards and less life chances than the generation before – unless we turn things around. In Australia the share of national income that goes to wages has steadily fallen. Profits are soaring, the rich are getting richer and unions grow weaker.

Youth unemployment is at its highest for 15 years, and under-employment at its highest for 30 years. The Abbott government, on behalf of employers and big corporations, sees this as an opportunity to really hurt workers and the poor. Its actions include:

  • anti-labour laws to undermine workers’ ability to fight for their rights, and to stamp out trade unions in the workplace.
  • attacks on penalty rates for weekend and other work outside normal hours. This especially hits young people – more than half the jobs held by young people are part-time and many must work to support themselves at school, college or university. The more hours they must work to pay their way the less time they have to study.
  • funding cuts to public schools, TAFEs and universities and imposition of high enrolment fees, to make it even harder for young workers to take the courses and gain the skills needed for well paid, quality jobs.
  • making the unemployed wait longer to get the dole, making them jump through more hoops to get it, increasing penalties for infringements, such as not getting to an interview; and expanding “work for the dole” schemes, when what is needed are real jobs for real wages, not jobs on the cheap that undercut other workers’ wages.

The Abbott government aims to make life harder and more expensive; it will destroy prospects for many people, in lots of ways. These attacks are just the start. The government is using budget cuts, privatisation (selling public assets) and leaving it to “market forces” to provide health, housing, education, childcare, transport and other needed services and infrastructure.

This makes these services more expensive and harder to access for many people. Most people in this situation will simply go without and sink to the bottom of the social heap.

What we can do

We can take on the government! But to do this, we must get up to date on these issues and start to discuss how to make our voices heard and our actions count!

We need to address the most immediate threats – including:

  • attacks on penalty rates for work outside normal hours.
  • attacks on the unemployed: in particular the introduction of “Jobactive” on July 1, which will make it harder than ever for those without a job in Australia.
  • pricing beyond reach trade, traineeship and other vocational courses for many young people, destroying their chances for the future.

We need to:

  • work on plans of action to effectively take on these issues.
  • seek key allies to work with.
  • spread the word and make a call to action: Organise! Mobilise!

Young communists are committed to this struggle. Help us build strong campaigns against these attacks! You can start by “liking” Young Communist League of Australia on Facebook; contact us and keep up to date with events, action and discussion.

Young communists understand that if we are to live in an enlightened, civilised society and aspire to “an era of peace, and happier days than the doomed generations of capitalism have ever known” we must fight to create that future. We commit ourselves to that struggle. We call on others to join us in this common venture to create a better world.

We can change the worls! Help us create a better future!

Next article – Asylum seeker facts

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