A New Forum for Young Workers
It’s an exciting time for the Young Workers Forum. The Forum met last week, for the first time under its new name, and chose the issues that it will address in its three priority campaigns for 2013/14: pay and employment, housing and promoting unions.
Our campaign focus on Pay and Employment will see the Young Workers Forum play its part in the national TUC campaign to spread the Living Wage and expose pay exploitation of young workers. We’ll also be stepping up the youth unemployment campaign and in particular increasing support for the Charter for a Future That Works.
On Housing, we’re going to highlight and call for action to address the issues that many young workers face in finding somewhere to live. We’re starting this off with a survey of union young members on housing, which will be followed by a special report and conference to raise awareness of the issues.
Promoting Unions will be a standing campaign that will be run every year. Its aim will be to raise the profile of trade unions amongst young workers and encourage existing young members to get more involved in their union. Key parts of this campaign will be ensuring use and delivery of the TUC’s excellent Unions into Schools materials and a Young Workers Month, which will hopefully be held in the autumn.
We are also changing the way the Forum meets, to make it more inclusive and more relevant to young workers. From July as well the more formal delegate based meetings we’ll be holding Open Forums in TUC regions to which all young workers, regardless of whether they are members of a union or not, will be invited. These Open Forums will feature speakers from unions and partner organisations, include training on campaigning and will be a chance for a broader group of young workers to engage with the unions and the TUC.
We’ll be starting the Open Forums in July in London and then will go to Manchester in October and Newcastle in early 2014.
I’d like to thank the Forum delegates for the courage and imagination they’ve shown in trying to make the Forum more effective and relevant to young workers. I’ll be posting regular updates here on how our priority campaigns are progressing and of course what we’ve heard and learnt from the young workers who come along to our Open Forums – I hope we’ll see you at one of them!