In an online workshop on 30 November, young activists from across Europe discussed key issues for young industrial workers in their countries and developed their strategy and demands for next year's EU elections.

A major common concern they identified is the worrying rise of far-right parties. The rhetoric of far-right parties claims to defend workers' interests, but once in power they attack trade unions and restrict workers' rights, as recently seen in Finland. It is therefore essential to educate our young activists to understand the factors leading to the rise of the far right and to equip them with the tools to fight it. Our online workshop contributed to this.

The online event was followed by a workshop that took place on 6 – 7 December in Rome as part of industriAll Europe's series of regional workshops, organised in cooperation with the European Trade Union Institute, on empowering young trade union activists to build trade union power and engage in collective bargaining for quality jobs for young people. 

The workshop brought together young trade unionists from Italy, Spain, France, Turkey, Romania, Bosnia, Finland and Belgium for theoretical and practical training to understand the different industrial relations systems in Europe and to develop a common European youth strategy ahead of the 2024 EU elections.

Despite the different systems, our young participants reported very similar problems faced by young workers and apprentices across the continent:

•    precarious work (short-term contracts with limited access to training and social security; temporary work, etc.)
•    the increasing unattractiveness of industrial jobs due to difficult working conditions and uncertain prospects because of industrial relocation
•    low quality entry jobs and poor retention of apprentices after training
•    erosion of purchasing power, housing crisis and increased risk of poverty, particularly for young people
•    increasing mental health problems, caused in particular by insecure employment and precarious economic situations
•    the need for a better work-life balance and a clear stance against all forms of discrimination and harassment at work 

IndustriAll Europe’s young activists are highly motivated to take action on these issues and are linking their actions to our 'Good Industrial Jobs' campaign with clear youth demands for the 2024 EU elections. Messaging that is clear, simple, accessible and targeted is important in this context. Our young activists therefore practised messaging using online tools such as Canva and designed surveys with questions that hit the mark.

Isabelle Barthès, Acting Joint General Secretary of industriAll Europe, congratulated the young participants for their dedication and commitment: 

"We are delighted to see so much enthusiasm from our young members and to have them on board for our 'Good Industrial Jobs' campaign! As already pledged at our mid-term conference in Thessaloniki, we will continue to actively reach out to them and welcome them into all our structures. This work will intensify as we approach our 2025 Congress."