This month has marked Young Workers Month. Organised by the TUC and held in November every year, it promotes trade unions to young workers and shows how unions are relevant to their lives at work and beyond.
Everyone should have the chance of a decent job and career, no matter what their age. Young people are most likely to experience unemployment, underemployment, low wages, casual and temporary work, zero-hours contracts and workplace exploitation.
As a union we want to engage and recruit all young workers.
Young people deserve a great job as much as anyone else, where you are paid and treated fairly, where you get an opportunity to progress, have your voices heard and your rights upheld.
Young workers tell us it’s hard to speak up at work, whether that’s getting your hard work recognised or challenging unfair treatment. We want to make a difference to the working lives of young workers, and we want you to stand with us.
Trade union membership among young workers (aged 20–29) is 14.1 per cent, falling by almost half to 7.5 per cent in the private sector – where the vast majority of young workers in the UK work. Young people are the least likely to be in a union, despite having the most to gain from union membership.
Young workers were hit particularly hard by the pandemic.
A TUC analysis showed that more young workers were made redundant during summer 2020 than in all of 2019. During the pandemic, the unemployment rate for BME young workers has increased more than twice as fast as the unemployment rate for young white workers.
It is unions that can help young workers win in their workplace. Whether this is through apprenticeships, skills training, equalities work or collective organising. When young workers are unionised they are happier, earn more and have better working conditions.
Community have set up a young workers task force, looking at why people under 27 aren’t joining trade unions and what we can do as a union to recruit and involve more young members and reps. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a member of Community and need help or advice, please contact us at email@example.com or on 0800 389 6332.