Empowering young workers

This blog, written by Community’s NEC member for young workers, Jack Whiston, is about his experiences at the GFTU development weekend.

At the GFTU young workers development weekend, young activists from several unions got together to strengthen and develop our understanding of the trade union movement and the issues faced by our generation. We explored the low pay young workers receive and issues with young workers not understanding our rights at work. The biggest hurdle we face is this lack of knowledge. Because, simply, if we as young workers don’t know our rights, there’s no way we can stand up for them.

Throughout the weekend, collectively, we learnt so much about how to stand up for ourselves and our fellow young workers. Take the negotiating strategy simulation we did, as well as being a great way to interact with young workers from different trade unions – it showed us the psychology behind negotiations. From understanding the psychology, we can better understand the priorities and tactics of those we are negotiating with and how to stand firm to win for our members. That is just one example, but the things we learnt throughout the weekend are lifelong skills. Skills that we will use for long into the future as trade unionists. Empowering young workers this way is vital to the future success and strength of our movement. These weekends are essential for young trade unionists to attend.

These weekends are important for young trade unionists to attend. Unions, like Community, are changing the world we work in for the better, every day. But this can only happen with the strength and solidarity of our membership. From union members to activists, you all have a key part to play in changing your world of work.

Now, more than ever, young people need to be a part of a trade union, and Community is the union for young people.

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