Organising Young Workers

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Conference notes the explosion of low paid, and casual jobs, which disproportionately employ young people. ­Young workers are the future of our movement

Nor can we ignore the growing number of workplaces in retail, distribution, call centres, hospitality and other service industries where zero hours contracts, minimum wages and other appalling conditions predominate. For many young workers entering the labour market, non-union workplaces with appalling conditions and a culture of bullying and intimidation prevail.

Many new workplaces are small, and have high turnovers, and traditional organising­ strategies have often not been effective enough:

Conference calls for an active input to the TUC’s project to create a new model of UK trade unionism, as adopted at the September 2017 TUC. This review should include the following actions, which UNITE should act on quickly and before the completion of the TUC review where possible:

• A review of union young workers organising strategies, to look at options of organising inside and outside the workplace and the inspiration from community or social movement unionism, to reach out to young people who are currently not involved with trade unions, and often have little to no knowledge about trade unions

• An emphasis on training and development of young members to take on branch roles, and to know how to organise the workplace, including how to build a branch from scratch in non-unionised workplaces

• An emphasis on education, especially on economics and politics of young members sections to ensure they know the importance of the trade union movement as the only reliable and strong voice for working people

• Encourage the creation of Young Members Organiser role at the branch level to look at engagement and involvement of young members and the option of organising locally based young members groups, with an emphasis of inter sector and inter-union groups and include support from young members officers

• Develop and extend UNITE’s young members structures and its involvement in union organising work and community campaigning.