This week six Global Union Federations and the ITUC joined forces to host a second webinar on the impacts of Covid-19 on young workers across the world.
The webinar series, entitled “Amplifying young voices” aims to create spaces for young workers to share their experiences, insights, and ideas for creating a “new normal” after the Covid-19 crisis.
The wide-ranging webinar addressed touched on gender equality, climate change and union growth. Participants agreed that the labour movement must be at the front of the fight in broader social movements like LGBTI and Black Lives Matter, and protecting migrant and precarious workers.
Three panelists from different parts of the world shared their own experiences on these issues and gave the participants some key messages to take away:
“We need to change, to create societies that are more equal. Women need better wages, more recognition for their work in female dominated sectors such as care. We need a new alternative to capitalism, an alternative where unions have a key role through collective bargaining and organising”, said Nice Coronacion from SENTRO Philippines.
Dorotea Zec from the Seafarers Union of Croatia (SUC), said that “solidarity must be at the heart of everything we do to create the new normal we’re fighting for”.
The panellists underlined the pressing need to invest more on young workers, on developing their leadership skills, on building the leaders of tomorrow now.
“Young people need to build power and confidence – it’s the only way to break down the barriers of discrimination that affect them because of their age”, concluded Sweshta Ashnah Soomungull, Confédération des travailleurs du secteur privé (CTSP), Mauritius .
The moderator, Deiby Porras Arias from Asociacion Nacional de Empleados Públicos y Privados (ANEP), Costa Rica closed the panel by nothing that, “as the guarantors of social justice, unions need to incorporate human rights and social issues as part of their day-to-day work. A “new normal” means we need to talk from a human rights perspective”.