Under the banner of “Rising Together”, young unionists participating at the UNI World Congress and UNI World Women’s Conference, met to discuss how to increase youth participation throughout Congress activities and debates.
Over 40 participants from all over the world, represented the almost 8 per cent of the total composition of the UNI World Congress, a significant improvement that is in line with UNI’s aim at increasing youth participation to at least 10 per cent.
The meeting allowed young workers to get to know each other, learn and discuss about UNI and UNI Youth, as well as their role during the Congress, such as taking the floors during the debates and participating in the different debates, highlighting the importance of young workers in trade unions.
As Ibrahim Mamadou from SYTS Senegal explained during his intervention on the panel for a sustainable world: “It is vital that Congress debates how we can act NOW to address the impact of climate change and achieve just transition for workers in all our sectors.”
The Congress was also an opportunity for youth to present the adoption of a motion aimed at increasing investment in young workers. As the UNI Youth President, Lucimara Malaquias from CONTRAF-CUT, Brazil, explained to Congress: “…young workers must be involved in shaping, discussing, and developing policies in the world of work. We need to make space for young leaders in our unions and make sure that young workers and their issues are included in the trade union agenda.”
The motion was followed by powerful interventions from young workers and trade union leaders who expressed their support to this initiative.
“With a significant growth in trade union interest amongst young people, trade unions have a golden opportunity to increase their strength and leverage particularly across new areas of work. We need more organizing initiatives aimed at young people, but we also need to make sure that trade unions have implemented structures and policies that address young workers interests and needs. We need to invest in them now to secure our future,” concluded UNI Youth Director, Marta Ochoa.