This month, over 40 youth activists representing 12 countries from all over Europe came together to participate in the UNI Europa Youth summer school.
The Youth summer school is an opportunity for young activists to learn from their peers about successful campaigns, how to organize unions, strengthen collective bargaining at multinational companies and bolster international solidarity.
Attendees heard about successful organizing pushes led by young trade union leaders such as the Decency at Dunnes campaign in Ireland. After almost two years of campaigning, almost 10,000 Dunnes workers saw a 10 % increase in pay as part of a Covid pay premium.
The campaign showed that the solution to many of the challenges young people face is crystal clear – organize. For young people, joining a trade union and honing their negotiating, communications and campaigning skills is the strongest tool to ensure that youth get a fair deal at work.
As we emerge from a global pandemic which has had a debilitating impact on many young workers, the dynamic training saw young trade unionists take action to develop the solutions and skills to overcome the challenges we face.
Participants also worked on sharpening their social media skills by creating video content (for Tik Tok and other platforms) designed to inspire young workers into trade union work.
Head of UNI Youth Marta Ochoa said, “the strength of this summer school is that young trade unionists can bring back the negotiating, communications and organizing skills they learn from each other and apply them to their own campaigns back home.”
“We’ve seen firsthand the positive impact that peer-to-peer training like at the UNI Europa Youth summer school can have for young people,” continued Ochoa. “These trainings give young people the tools they need to succeed in building impactful organizing campaigns, strong trade unions and international solidarity.”
UNI Europa Youth will be holding their global conference in Gdansk 1-3 June.