Trade unions need to actively involve their young members in trade union work and give them voice. We need to give young members the necessary space and resources to be active.
Around 100 young trade unionists from all over Europe gathered in Turin on 9-12 December to discuss the future of work and the future of trade unions.
Participants, irrespective of where they came from, all realized that they face similar challenges: climate change, digitalisation, and the austerity of the past decade that has made their generation worse off than their parents and grandparents. This generation is particularly affected by temporary employment: 44 percent of young people have a temporary contract, which can be shorter than 1 month with no social benefits as shown in a recent report by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Jacques Delors Institute Berlin. Most shocking is recent Eurostat data showing the numbers of young people in work, yet at risk of poverty: Sweden 14.2%, Norway 15%, Romania 22%, Spain 15.8%, Italy 12%, Germany 12.9%. Clearly, all over Europe, work is no longer a way to escape poverty!
IndustriAll Europe’s young members stand ready to fight for improving the situation for young people. Together with fellow trade unionist from different sectors and countries across Europe, they identified the main challenges for Youth in transforming the world of work. They also exchanged best practices on organising young workers, which is essential for trade union renewal.
For industriAll Europe, Youth work is a priority. Many interesting activities were launched in 2019 and this is only the beginning. In 2020, in cooperation with the Programme for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) of the International Training Center of the International Labour Organization (ITCILO), we will carry out the project “Strengthening Young Workers’ Voices for the Future of the EU Industry.” This project aims at strengthening trade unions’ capacity to protect young industrial workers during the processes of change that are currently transforming the world of work.
All our affiliated organisations are invited to send their young members (under 35) to the industriAll Europe Youth Academy which will take place between 2-5 March 2020 at the ITCILO in Turin, Italy.
Luc Triangle, industriAll Europe’s General Secretary, said: “Trade unions need to actively involve their young members in trade union work and give them voice. This is the only way in which trade unions can attract young people to the labour movement and build trade union power. We urge our members to recognize the importance of Youth work and to give young members the necessary space and resources to be active.”
For more information or further comment please contact youth policy adviser Patricia Velicu.