No solutions for Adelaide unemployed
By Chris Spindler
ADELAIDE — A meeting here on July 25 gave the unemployed, particularly young unemployed people, little to look forward to from either major party or the union bureaucracy. The meeting was organised by FILEF in an attempt to have more youth and community input into the debate around youth unemployment.
Dr Bob Catley, ALP federal member for Adelaide, said that while current levels of unemployment were "unacceptable", they were something we had to live with.
"Recessions are cyclical", he told us. "We thought we could control recessions but we as others have failed to do this. So recessions are something we have to live with under capitalism. And abolishing the capitalist economy is certainly not something I'm advocating."
Bob Such, the Liberal shadow minister for youth affairs, defended the Liberals' plan to pay $3 per hour youth wages, although he hurriedly pointed out that this was only a minimum. Employers could pay more if they desired.
"People are too obsessed with their pay levels", he said. "Three dollars an hour, $5 an hour, $100 an hour, it doesn't matter, it depends on what you produce."
When questioned about the number of hours people should work, his response was similar. People are too obsessed with the length of time they spend at work!
Belinda Woods, the youth officer from the United Trades and Labor Council of South Australia, outlined some of the changes in the labour market.
In the last two years 160,000 jobs for 15-19 year olds has disappeared. Of all full-time jobs lost, half were lost by 15-19 year olds.