Put Young Workers to Work!

Published on political affairs pa, by Erica Smiley, December 09, 2009.

  • 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.

… (full text).

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