Category Archives: Campaigns

PRESS RELEASE: Protests taking place across the country as part of ‘fast food rights’ campaign

Protesters involved in the ‘Fast Food Rights’ coalition are taking part in over 25 protests across the country this Saturday, 29 March as part of a newly launched campaign. The protesters are demanding a living wage for all workers and an end to the use of zero-hour contracts. Fast Food outlets including McDonalds , Costa and Burger King will all be targeted by protesters who will also be signing workers up to the Bakers’, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU), who initiated the Fast Food Rights campaign.

Ian Pattison, spokesperson for Youth Fight for Jobs said

‘This day of action is part of building a campaign against the low-pay in security and exploitation taking place across the fast food industry at the present time. We are fighting for decent jobs – with guaranteed hours, a living wage and trade union rights. These multi-billion pound companies are making sky high profits by super-exploiting workers – especially young workers. But this campaign is building the fightback.’

Protests are taking place in towns and cities all over Britain.

A full list can be found here:

www.youthfightforjobs.com

London events are as follows:

11 AM – Lewisham protest – meet by Lewisham Clock Tower

1.30 PM – meet at Leicester Square McDonald’s, on the corner of Swiss Court and Whitcomb Street

5 PM – Lewisham Public Meeting – Glass Mill Leisure Centre, 41 Loampit Vale, London, SE13 7FT

Protests across North West for Youth Fight for Jobs and Fast Food Right day of action – Saturday 29th March

Youth Fight for Jobs and Fast Food Rights protests in the North West - 29/03/14

Youth Fight for Jobs and Fast Food Rights protests in the North West - 29/03/14

You can see a full list of the protests across the country here http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/

Full list of protests – Saturday 29th March

Protest March 29th!

Check out a full list of Saturday’s protest below!

Youth Fight for Jobs & Fast Food Rights Day of Action

Scrap Zero-Hour Contracts
A living wage of £10 a hour
Join a union

List of events (more to follow)

London

11 AM – Lewisham protest – meet by the Clock Tower

1.30PM – Leicester Square leafleting

5PM – Lewisham Public Meeting – Glass Mill Leisure Centre, 41 Loampit Vale, London, SE13 7FT

Shirebrook

11AM – Assemble at – Shirebrook Market Place to Target Sports Direct HQ – NG20 8AA

Birmingham

1PM – outside Primark, New Street

Brighton

12 noon – outside McDonald’s in Western Road, Brighton

Bristol

12 Noon – YFJ/ FFR Super-Stall – Meet outside BHS, Broadmead, BS1 3HB

Bolton

11AM – Victoria Square, town centre

Canterbury

11AM – Meet by Café Rouge in Canterbury city centre

Cardiff

11AM – Queen Street, Nye Bevan’s statue targeting BK, FootLocker and Costa

Carlisle

11AM – Scotch Street city centre

Chester

11AM – Chester Cross, town centre

Coventry

12 noon – Shelton Square (by Tesco in Coventry City Centre), CV1 1DG

Exeter

12 noon – Exeter High Street

Glasgow

12 noon at Sauchiehall Street McDonald’s

Huddersfield

Coming soon!

Leeds

1pm outside Briggate/Boar Lane McDonalds

Leicester

Meet 11am, the Clock Tower, Leicester Town Centre

Lincoln

12 noon – outside McDonald’s in the Cornhill, Lincoln

Liverpool

12 noon – Sports Direct – Parker Street, L1 1DJ

Manchester

11AM – Sports Direct, Market Street, M1 1PW

Newcastle

12 noon – Northumberland Street Burger King

Rochdale

12 noon- Yorkshire Street, town centre

Sheffield

11AM – top of Fargate

Southampton

11AM  – Meet outside the West Quay Shopping Centre, Above Bar Street

St Helens

11AM – Church Square, town centre

Swansea

2pm – Meet outside McDonalds on Castle Square

Wakefield

10 AM – Outside McDonalds on Kirkgate

Wigan

2pm - Standishgate, town centre

Esther McVey is out of touch!

Tory (un)employment minister Esther McVey has said the problem with young people today is that we expect too much, none of us are willing to take entry level jobs. McVey has suggested we go and work at Costa Coffee. Again, the Tories have proven how out of touch they are, shielded from the austerity measures they’re implementing. Before being given her current post, McVey was previoulsy Tory minister for disbaled people, responsible for removing DLA (Disability Living Allowance) and drastically cuting benefits for disabled people.

Below you can see an article by Nottingham Youth Fight for Jobs from February 2013 when 1900 people applied for just 8 jobs at a Costa Coffee branch.

A small and new branch of Costa Coffee in Mapperley, Nottingham featured in national news headlines yesterday when around 1,900 people applied for just 8 vacancies. The area manager for the East Midlands was shocked by the number of applications, particularly as many of them were by university graduates including nursing graduates.

Youth Fight for Jobs activists in Nottingham have been pointing out for the last few years the lack of jobs available in the area. In some places in Nottinghamshire, there are at least 15 job seekers for every vacancy. This example shows that young people are willing to work, even in minimum wage jobs, despite what government ministers like Iain Duncan Smith might say. The problem is that there aren’t enough jobs out there.

Whilst there is plenty of socially useful jobs that could be done, such as nursing in the NHS, young people with skills are being forced into part-time and temporary jobs.

Some of the people applying had previously lost their jobs from chains that have gone into administration such as HMV. The government’s claim that the private sector will ‘pick up the slack’ is proving again and again to be a lie. Youth Fight for Jobs demands that the government creates decent jobs with decent pay for the millions of young people who are unemployed or underemployed.

Today, the unemployment figures will again show the level of misery being inflicted on ordinary people Britain as a result of the Con-Dem’s misery. Youth Fight for Jobs members in Nottingham will continue to campaign for a future for young people.

Rachel Reeves out does the ‘nasty’ party on welfare cuts

Leading trade unionists angrily condemned Rachel Reeves when she became shadow work and pension’s secretary for Labour after she promised to be tougher than the Tories on welfare. Yesterday (Monday 20th January) Rachel Reeves fulfilled her promise.

Ian Pattison, Youth Fight for Jobs

Rachel Reeves is demanding unemployed people who failed a maths and English tests and refused further training would lose their benefits. The media and their friends in the main pro-cuts parties try to blame unemployment on workers lacking the skills. The reality is, there are just not enough jobs out there. Youth Fight for Jobs is in favour of supporting anyone develop their English and maths, but we don’t support cutting their benefits. With further welfare cuts proposed, Reeves and colleagues will be more than happy to do just that.

Reeves has suggested people finding themselves out of work after long-term employment should get a £120 windfall over a 6-week period. How £120 is supposed to make all the difference after your job is cut, Reeves hasn’t explained?

Reeves has said Labour’s welfare changes will not cost a penny. Most likely, she’ll find savings by cutting benefits for those of us who’ve never worked, even if we’re out of work through disability or illness.

Unemployment has vastly increased as the cuts and the economic crisis has destroyed jobs. The proposals announced by Rachel Reeves today will not reverse job destruction initiated by the Con-Dems. Rachel Reeves wants to create two-tiers of benefits – benefits that are already below what we can live on. Disabled people, who may have never worked, will be penalised. Young people from my generation, less likely to find work, and already entitled to lower benefits than the rest of the population, will be further ‘punished’ if Rachel Reeves’ plan goes through.

To stop the race to the bottom, Youth Fight for Jobs is working alongside the Bakers, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (BFAWU) on a new campaign, ‘Fast Food Rights’. We’re holding a national day of action with protests at exploiting fast food chains on Saturday 15th February. Youth Fight for Jobs is also holding another wave of protests to scrap zero-hour contracts on Saturday 29th March.”

BFAWU bakers’ union ‘Fast Food Rights’ day of action – Saturday 15th February

http://fastfoodrights.wordpress.com/

Youth Fight for Jobs protests – Saturday 29th March

Organising fast food workers – Support ‘Fast Food Rights’

James Ivens, Youth Fight for Jobs London

Officials from bakers’ union BFAWU recently held a ‘fast food forum’ with campaigners from groups including Youth Fight for Jobs.

Labour left MP John McDonnell also spoke from the platform. The meeting at Parliament decided to target exploiting fast food chains.

The move comes after successful strike action against zero-hour contracts at bread maker Hovis and organising work at snack retailer Greggs.

The meeting discussed tactics and agreed a day of action on Saturday 15th February to launch a trade union recruitment campaign.

Youth Fight for Jobs supports this and has called a further day of action on zero-hour contracts on Saturday 29th March.

A young worker at Costa Coffee related his workplace experiences. Break rooms at the café chain carry posters with uplifting messages. “Smile or be fired.” A trade union would quickly wipe that smile off the boss’s face.

The fast food workforce is drawn from two main sources. Many are students so the campaign aims to approach student unions.

Most others are migrant workers. Chris Ford, General Secretary of the International Workers’ of Great Britain explained that his trade union had disproved the idea these workers are ‘unorganisable’ with several recent industrial victories.

Sick of your boss?

Helen Pattison, speaking for Youth Fight for Jobs, reported on the ‘Are you Sick of Your Boss?’ under-employment campaign.

Activists have had good results from entering high street shops and distributing material to staff while working.

Various speakers mentioned the Fast Food Forward campaign in the US. In particular the historic election victory of Socialist Alternative USA member, Kshama Sawant, winning more than 90,000 in Seattle, was praised.

The closing focus of discussion was the need to provide long-term support for struggle, not just publicity stunts.

Youth Fight for Jobs is planning to organise further meetings around the country with BFAWU branches and activists.

  • Wednesday 22 January: next fast food forum planning meeting at Parliament
  • Saturday 15 February: ‘Fast Food Rights’ day of action
  • Saturday 29 March: Youth Fight for Jobs day of action against zero-hour contracts

http://fastfoodrights.wordpress.com/

On November 5th, young workers say: Zero hours no way!

“Zero-hours no way, decent jobs and decent pay”, was the slogan shouted outside the bosses’ CBI headquarters in London on 5 November.

The protest, targeting an organisation which represents a whole host of zero-hour contract employers, was part of a national day of action organised by the Youth Fight for Jobs campaign.

Claire Laker-Mansfield, Youth Fight for Jobs

Around the country, protests and stunts were organised, particularly targeting the (now infamous) company Sports Direct, who employ over 90% of staff on zero-hour contracts.

In Shirebrook, Derbyshire, the headquarters of this multimillion pound company was hit with a protest. Stores were also targeted in Exeter, Chester and Manchester.

In Sheffield, Youth Fight for Jobs decided to highlight the tax-dodging Arcadia group’s treatment of their low-paid staff, with Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton’s and BHS all hit by ‘kamikaze leafleting’ , following a protest against zero-hour contracts at the CeX Entertainment exchange in the city.

These were lively and vibrant protests – in some cases crowds of shoppers gathered around to listen to speeches, sign petitions and even join in with some chanting.

At CBI HQ protesters attempted to occupy the offices but were prevented by the police and security guards.

At many of the shops hit by protests a visible nervousness was present among store managers, who often sent security to stand guard at the shop.

And given the anger and frustration that exists among low-paid zero-hour workers, it’s no wonder!

As well as organising this protest day, Youth Fight for Jobs also took part in a number of the People’s Assembly ‘burn austerity’ events.

There, we helped liven things up, bringing megaphones and getting some chanting going on.

Youth Fight for Jobs now plans to continue to escalate the campaign against zero-hour contracts and low-paid insecure work through the ‘Are you Sick of your Boss?’ initiative.

Unionised Hovis workers have shown zero-hours can be beaten. Join Youth Fight for Jobs and get involved in the fightback today.

5th November – Day of Civil Disobedience: Scrap zero-hour contracts

Youth Fight for Jobs target
Sports Direct & CBI

Anti-zero-hour contract campaigners in Youth Fight for Jobs are planning to target CBI (Confederation of British Industry) headquarters, the organisation representing big business in Britain, as part of our national day of action.

As the CBI hold their annual conference, setting out the agenda of big business in the UK, young people suffering under many of their favoured employment practices will be mobilising.

3pm
Tottenham Court Road tube station
outside We Will Rock You
march to the CBI HQ at Centre Point.

Nationally, targets such as Sports Direct stores are also being hit with protests.

You can find a full list of tomorrow’s protests here: http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/wordpress/wordpress/?p=884

Helen Pattison, former zero-hour contract worker and Youth Fight for Jobs London organiser said:

“5.5 million people are currently employed with less than 3 hours of guaranteed work each week. These contracts give maximum flexibility to the employers, but maximum insecurity to workers. Young people are disproportionately affected by these contracts. The Youth Fight for Jobs campaign is building the fight to put pressure on employers like Sports Direct to end this exploitation. We say that the solution to mass youth unemployment is not cramming people on to zero-hour contracts and into low paid insecure work. In reality this simply hides the problem, as thousands are counted as ‘employed’ when often they have little or no hours of work each week. The CBI have been staunch defenders of zero-hour contracts and little wonder. Freedom of exploitation by the bosses leads to higher profits and further lines the pockets of the super-rich 1%. Tomorrows protest will send them a clear message: we’re willing to fight back.”

Campaigners also plan to target the headquarters of Sports Direct in Shirebrook. The company hit the headlines last month for having 90% of staff employed on zero-hour contracts. Details here: http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/wordpress/wordpress/?p=884

Join the protests against zero-hour contracts on 5 November!

Bolton
Bonfire and Wall of Shame
outside Sports Direct
Victoria Square
12:30pm

also join us 8am-9am at Bolton train station to leaflet and collect signatures for the protest!

Chester
Protest with us at Chester Sports Direct
12pm-2pm

Exeter
Protest outside Sports Direct
Exeter High Street
12pm

Leeds
Youth Fight for Jobs are joining Unite Community to demonstrate against zero-hour contracts
Dortmund Sqauare @ 4pm

Liverpool
Protest outside Sports Direct
15 Parker Street,  L1 1DJ
11am-1pm

London
Protest the CBI (Confederation of British Industry)
Meet 3pm @ Tottenham Court Road tube station (We Will Rock You exit) to march to their HQ

London’s event can be found here: http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/wordpress/wordpress/?p=914

London – Waltham Forest
Protest to demand that re-instatement of sacked Whipps Cross hospital worker, Charlotte Monro (Unison branch chair )
5PM @ the Whipps Cross hospital Main Entrance on Whipps Cross Road

Manchester
Protest outside Sports Direct on Market Street (Arndale Centre)
in Manchester city centre
12pm-2pm

Sheffield
Join us leafleting shops owned by tax-dodgers and zero-hour employers Arcadia (Topshop, Topman, Dorothy Perkins, Burton’s, BHS and more!) on the High Street after the protests

- 11am protest against ATOS at the DWP (Department for Work and Pensions) building on Harsthead Square, behind Argos which is opposite Primark
- 12:30pm protest against zero-hour contracts at outside CeX (Entertainment Exchange) on High Street near the Cathedral at the bottom of Fargate
- 1pm Bedroom tax demo

Plus banner drops across the city throughout the day!

Shirebrook
Protest @ Sports Direct HQ in Shirebrook in North Derbyshire
Meet at 10.30am at Shirebrook Market Place

More to follow!

to get your event or protest advertised on the Youth Fight for Jobs website email youthfightforjobs@gmail.com

‘Why are we protesting 5 November?’ http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/wordpress/wordpress/?p=881

Target the CBI HQ in London! http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/wordpress/wordpress/?p=914

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against zero-hour contracts outside Sports Direct, photo Ian Pattison

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against zero-hour contracts outside Sports Direct, photo Ian Pattison

We need action against zero-hour contracts

Join the day of action on 5 November

check out http://bit.ly/1hfKIja for a list of protests on the day!

Claire Laker-Mansfield, Youth Fight for Jobs

How do you make a fortune worth £1.7 billion? It’s perhaps not a question most of us have spent too much time pondering.

For the average person, the more pressing questions are the ones about paying fuel bills, making food last and avoiding rent arrears.

But if ever you do have the urge, it would be worth addressing the question to one Mike Ashley – proud owner of Sports Direct, currently in 15th place on the country’s rich list.

The only thing is, you might be a little disappointed at the answer. Mike Ashley made his money in the same way most of them do – not through some special genius or unique innovation.

He started out rich, he bought up other people’s companies and – here’s the most important bit – he employed thousands of workers on insecure zero-hour contracts and rock bottom wages. Because maximum exploitation equals maximum profit.

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against zero-hour contracts outside Sports Direct, photo Ian Pattison

Youth Fight for Jobs protest against zero-hour contracts outside Sports Direct, photo Ian Pattison

Like it or lump it?

When Sports Direct and other big companies were exposed in the press for their enormous use of zero-hour contracts, it caused outrage.

Anyone can see the deep unfairness of it. Your employer has total freedom and flexibility. You have to like it or lump it – plenty of people are queuing up to get more hours if you upset the boss.

But Youth Fight for Jobs says we’re not prepared to simply ‘lump it’. The ‘Are you Sick of your Boss?’ (SoyB) initiative is mounting a fightback against zero-hour contracts, low pay and insecurity.

On 5 November we’re calling a national day of action targeting zero-hour companies with protests, stunts and occupations.

In particular we’ll be hitting super-exploitative Sports Direct. We’re appealing to everyone who’s facing these issues at work, to trade unionists who support our campaign and to anyone disgusted by these contracts to join us on the day.

Building anger

With this action, we want to put the spotlight back on the zero-hour employers who think they can get away with it.

We want to give confidence to those struggling under the weight of low wages and casual employment that they’re not alone.

Because ultimately, it won’t be rallies and stunts that beat back greedy and exploitative bosses. It will be the workers getting organised.

We can take inspiration from the example of Hovis workers who’ve taken strike action and beaten back zero-hour contracts. They’ve shown it’s possible to fight – and it’s possible to win.

What Mike Ashley and those like him fear most is not just bad publicity, it’s the anger that’s building on his shop floors, it’s the potential for working class traditions – those of unions, strikes and solidarity – to assert themselves powerfully as his employees get a feel for their own strength.

That’s why SoyB aims to use this day of action as a springboard for building groups of young workers and trade unionists who can help each other to get organised. If you’re sick of your boss and want to join the fightback – protest on 5 November.

check out http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/wordpress/wordpress/wp-admin/post.php?post=884&action=edit&message=6 for a list of protests on the day!

Target the CBI HQ in London! http://www.youthfightforjobs.com/wordpress/wordpress/?p=914

to get your event or protest advertised on the Youth Fight for Jobs website email youthfightforjobs@gmail.com