Young people want more space and more say at Public Services International, said participants at a pre-PSI world congress forum for young workers over the weekend.
They want PSI structures changed to accommodate input from young workers so that they can influence the 20-million-member global union federation on issues of importance to youth.
“We need to bring our enthusiasm, our ideas and our workplace concerns to the fore at the world level,” said CUPE delegate Candace Rennick. “There needs to be a place in PSI where young people can raise their issues about the environment, about equality and about job security.”
More than 100 young delegates attended the forum, a huge improvement since the last congress five years ago, Rennick said. “But there is still much room for attracting and retaining the interest of young trade unionists.”
About a fifth of the world’s population is aged between 15 and 24, Juan Gomez Carlos, an Argentinian youth delegate, told the Congress Express daily newsletter. “About 660 million young people will be in jobs or looking for work by 2015. These young people are the future of trade unions, which will just get older and die unless they become more relevant to young workers.”
Meanwhile, PSI’s inter-Americas regional executive committee (IAMREC) accepted a nomination to place a Jamaican young worker on its executive at its pre-congress meeting Friday.
For more on PSI and young workers and to read “Giving Young Workers a Voice”, visit www.world-psi.org/youngworkers.