Put Young Workers to Work!


‘Twas the night before the unemployment reports, and all through the clearing,
Young workers slept haunted by jobs disappearing;
Having gone into debt for training and education,
Only to discover no jobs available in their vocations;
Barely scraping by to cover bills and the rent,
Of all unemployed, young workers are 48 percent ;
God forbid they are allowed to build a savings,
Work only one job, buy a house or a haven;
And the cultural implications go often unknown,
Like 1 in 3 young workers still live with parents at home;
And their parents’ situation is no less dire,
Working multiple jobs, and no hopes to retire;
Even grandparents still work to maintain their healthcare,
Too young at 63 to obtain Medicare;
And thus the labor pool is older, no room for the youth,
Unless they join the military, become yet another troop;
Joining those looking for security and a steady income,
Enough to start a family and maybe save up a sum;
So long as they aren’t killed in an unjustifiable occupation,
A lost generation of youth who only wanted paid vacation;
It was a tragedy indeed, that made young workers anxious,
Until something in the distance created a ruckus;

It was then the young workers saw some figures on the horizon,
President Trumka? …and Arlene Holt-Baker beside him;
And other young workers with them, both organized and not,
Saying, “Fret no more, young comrades, some solutions we’ve got;
To start, let’s fight for some immediate fixes,
They won’t change the root of it, but they’ll apply needed stitches;
Senator Reed of Rhode Island has a proposal for work-share ,
It would divide up our work hours, and lighten the burdens we bare;
It could help workers of all ages avoid rash lay offs,
Maybe it would even help the Mets make the play offs!
But we digress, when another solution we’re needing,
Extending unemployment benefits to help stop the bleeding;
Summer jobs, work studies, and grants for those of us in school,
Because starting our job search in debt is so cruel;
We need federal funding to stop cuts in state budgets,
We need those vital services, and students just can’t afford it;
But this is just a start, we really need more,
We need good jobs awaiting us when we’re kicked out the door;
Jobs that build infrastructure and operate public transportation,
Jobs that provide healthcare, retirement, and paid vacation;
A union job that would provide us with family leave,
A green job that would strengthen energy efficiency;
A job that’d help re-build schools, roads and trails,
A job where the will of our communities prevails;
If the private sector can’t provide them, we need public works,
With government funding and government perks;
And while we’re at it, we want the remaining TARP sums,
Re-deposited into a community investment fund;
To help keep our families out of foreclosure,
To provide needed healthcare for we under-insured;
And if the Medicare age is successfully lowered,
Our grandparents can retire, and young workers can move forward;
But sitting on our thumbs and complaining won’t win it,
We have to join the ranks of labor and others in the movement.”
So as the young workers arise with new energy, new might,
To all happy job-hunting, and fight, fight, fight, fight!