STATEMENT OF THE SECRETARIAT OF THE INITIATIVE ON THE SITUATION OF YOUNG WORKERS AND THE STATE OF VOCATIONAL TRAINING

  • 12/7/15 9:59 AM

Youth unemployment in the capitalist countries on the European continent continues to remain at high levels. In the last quarter of 2014, the youth unemployment rate in the EU-28 countries was reported at a stunning 21.4% and at 23.2% in the eurozone, it is noted in particular that in Greece and Spain youth unemployment is over 50%. In general, this condition holds true for most major economies right outside the EU as well, with e.g. Turkey reporting a youth unemployment rate of 20.4%, Russia 14.5% and Ukraine 17.8% (2013).
It is very clear that the much praised "efficiency" of the market, of the capitalist system itself is unable to utilize its labor force. It has capitalist profit as its criterion and this is why it acts against the people’s needs. It provides for a state of mass-unemployment not only for its youth, but also to the population as a whole.

With this mass-unemployment equilibrium as a threat and lever, the capitalists intensify their offensive against the working class, introducing the, by now, infamous concept of "flexibility" as a buzz-word for flexible work conditions, the abolition of collective labor agreements, labor and social rights and trade union freedoms and their subordination to the appetites of capital. The reformist leaderships of the labor unions, controlled by social-democracy and also rightwing conservative forces have been accessories to this development by stressing the policy of "class cooperation", which basically supposes that what is good for the employers also, must be good for the workers.

The reduction of real wages despite the increased productivity, the progress of science, technology and automation in the recent decades is caused by class exploitation and the capitalist profits that this results in.

Young workers are forced either to get stuck with, sometimes, life long, inflated, loans on housing, or forced to live with their parents long into their 30ies as the price threshold of moving and starting a family increases.

The part of the youth that is unemployed is now so big that governments across Europe, more and more, have come up with various "educational" or "training" programmes, which are particularly promoted by the EU (e.g. “voucher” programmes-“Youth Guarantee”) that in essence are nothing but ways of recycling the unemployed. Capitalists across Europe have been able to make good profits out of such programmes having young workers work almost or entirely for free in the name of "gaining experience".

We have no illusions, unemployment is inherent to the capitalist system that causes all these phenomena, it exploits the working class in order to increase the profitability of the monopolies and to perpetuate its operation. This system has been demonstrated to be rotten, obsolete and the only real way out for the people is to overthrow it.

The parties of the European Communist Initiative will devote all their forces to reinforcing the struggle of the workers, the young unemployed, with the power of organization and their trade unions as resources, for full education for all, specialization, work for all with salaries that correspond to the contemporary needs, for immediate and substantial measures to protect the unemployed.

7/12/2015