Blog post by Caspian, Young Workers Centre Organiser
Young workers have systemically been kicked out of having safe and secure employment for far too long.
These are highly unprecedented times. With a growing climate crisis, a looming future of job insecurity, and the ongoing impacts from the pandemic, the future for all of us is uncertain- especially for us young workers. The entire system of work has been completely redesigned so young workers have adaptable skills- to alternate between jobs, to get ready for a future of short contracts, and to be prepared for the gig economy.
I am a young worker and an organiser at the Young Workers Centre. Every week I’m engaging with other young workers, and its been far too common a experience to hear from young people who are working 2 jobs, or even 3 jobs just to make ends meet.
There has been little wage growth for workers in Australia. In recent years, it feels like our conditions and our job security are continuously being reverted back to a time when there was no job security, no rights and no entitlements. The neoliberal Australian government cries poor when young people need their support, but will gladly funnel tax cuts to those with vast amounts of wealth.
The 2021 Survey indicates a shared experience that young workers have across the ACT. There are alarmingly high rates of young people in casual jobs, young people experiencing wage theft, and young people who are far too afraid to speak out for their own rights because of their fear of losing shifts, or losing their job altogether.
Many young workers feel disconnected from the broader workers movement, and many are unfamiliar with the word ‘union’. This urgently needs to change. We need young workers to have a voice in the workers movement, we need to have an empowered workers movement, and we need to have better working conditions so young can speak out against the injustice of exploitation that is rampant across the ACT, and Australia. Working conditions must be better.
Find out more about the campaign for fair and secure work: https://youngworkerscbr.org.au/young-workers-demand-fair-and-secure-jobs/