Workers are paying a heavy price for a crisis beyond their control. This crisis will have far-reaching consequences beyond the loss of employment and revenue, causing an increase in everyday work and the working class.
Young workers, migrants, and women are the most vulnerable groups in the current recession and face considerable difficulties integrating into the current labor market. The global crisis may intensify this trend. If no effective remedies are discovered, it will continue, and millions of young people will see their personal development and future job prospects threatened.
Early life experiences and a lack of good work can often jeopardize a young person’s job chances. In developing nations, the relative drawback of young workers is even more apparent. Most countries failed to provide enough decent and valuable employment for the young, even in the lead-up to economic expansion. Today, the crises in the world cause negative consequences that will last a long time. The obstacles that young people face are numerous: dropping out of high school, declining life quality due to lack of money, workplace accidents with low wages, rising inequalities, and reducing labor pressurized participation rate are just some of the issues that young people must endure.
So, without a devoted, cultured, and engaged youth, a new, workable, and fairer globalization that emphasizes people, employment, and lifestyles will be impossible to achieve. Given that they represent the upcoming labor movement and society, how can we put young people and their future learning and work at the forefront of fixing the issue? These were some of the topics the ITUC Youth Committee discussed at its annual conference in Praia Grande, Brazil, in June 2009.
Restrictions by Young People
Even before they finish their education, young people’s expectations and aspirations are bleak, with the likelihood of a deep recession, enormous joblessness, and negative economic growth. The lack of financial market regulation, which began in the United States and quickly expanded to industrialized, growing, and developing countries, is one of the roots of the crisis. Even before the situation, the underlying problems affecting young people were the increasing precariousness of working circumstances due to the erosion of union rights, the weakness of collective bargaining, the lack of minimum salaries, and increased labor marketplace flexibility and deregulation.
Racism, unemployment, a lack of primary and quality educational centers, social marginalization, a lack of decent jobs, the prevalence of temporary labor and fixed-term agreements, and, depending on where you are in the globe, a lack of respectable employment are all issues that young workers face. Most young people may be driven into casual and informal work, where labor laws do not protect them or have access to social safety nets, regardless of where they live.
Fight the Crisis
The full extent of the crisis’s influence on society is unknown. The crisis’s social and political ramifications will be severe because international institutional investors do not expect the economic expansion to restart until at least 2010. It will be a source of worry for many young people planning their futures. Young people’s prospects are poor. They must adapt to enter the labor market when jobs are lost, earnings are decreasing, salaries are under intense pressure, and social safety systems fail to protect those who need it most.
Some countries have devised recovery plans, stimulus packages, and long-term initiatives to offset the adverse effects of the global financial crisis. Are they sufficient to address rising unemployment and the annual addition of about 45 million new job seekers to the global labor market? For crisis response measures to be effective, they must include innovative ideas and a continuous and more consistent emphasis on social safety net programs, decent work, and long-term growth. We need a recovery that leads to more jobs and lowers poverty levels.
The sense of despair among young workers is palpable. They are never to blame for the economic crisis, but if they want to find work, they must accept working fewer hours for lower wages or worsening conditions for workers. Without immediate action, you will not realize the benefits of investing in young folks. When young people’s unemployment rates are nearly double those of adults, something in the labor market isn’t working correctly. The following are some examples of ways to integrate youngsters into job markets better, share knowledge, and express worries about the global financial and economic crisis:
- Establishing provisional programs for youth aimed at an important and highly vulnerable group and to avoid further deterioration of their means of subsistence.
- A growing necessity for trade unionists and young employees to consult and discourse to prevent younger people from feeling separated from work.