On Wednesday, August 2nd, young workers from unionized and non-unionized workplaces across the Niagara region gathered together at a Unifor discussion and social.
The event hosted by Unifor’s Young Workers Committee was a unique opportunity where participants discussed the unique challenges faced at work, including everything from poverty wages and health and safety violations, to part time and precarious jobs.
“Young workers need space to talk, educate and organize,” said Roxanne Dubois, Unifor’s National Staff Liaison to the Young Workers Committee. “Issues at work can be isolating, but we saw tonight that those experiences are shared and that with knowledge about their rights young workers are already making things better in their communities.”
Participants shared stories of how low rates of unionization, inconsistent schedules and poor training has led to sometimes dangerous experiences on the job and intensified high turnover rates in the workplace.
The conversation also covered recent wins from the Changing Workplace Review, including Ontario’s Bill 148, which proposes to raise the minimum wage to $14 by January 2018, and $15 by January of 2019. Workers also discussed the importance of unionization and its influence on ensuring proper health and safety training in the workplace and that young workers know their rights.
To further this conversation Unifor is holding an Organizing Forum in Winnipeg, Manitoba from August 15-17, with a dedicated young workers portion being offered on the evening of Wednesday, August 16, and Thursday, August 17, 2017.
Young workers have the potential to play a positive organizing role but the work can’t start and stop here. It is important that young workers continue the conversation in their communities and workplaces, and actively engage in movements for fair wages and better working conditions. Get involved in the next event by contacting email@example.com.