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Workshop mobilises young workers to play key role in their unions

Young transport workers from ITF unions in Latin America and the Caribbean have come together at a regional workshop in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from 27 to 29 November.

The workshop follows national level training in organising and leadership in Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Colombia, St. Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago to enable the young workers to play a role in decision-making bodies.

Ten women and nine men participated in the regional workshop that included discussion about:

  • organising progress
  • how to support each other to overcome common challenges
  • the challenge of neoliberal policies: precarious jobs, outsourcing
  • a lack of union education
  • gender inequality in their industries
  • how to get their union leadership to commit to their development
  • how to use digital campaign tools to organise, mobilise and win

The young workers also pledged their support for the workers of Aerolineas Argentinas who were striking on Monday 26 November. A message of solidarity was sent to support DHL Forwarding workers in Cartagena, Colombia who are negotiating their collective agreement.

Claudia Pinilla, SNTT Colombia, said: “The support from the ITF young workers is very welcome by our members. We are union leaders. We are activists. We fight and make things happen. Whatever is coming, we will take a stand and we will make sure that the victory is ours.”

“The event has been truly rewarding”, said Horacio Calculli, chair of the ITF young transport workers regional committee for Latin America and the Caribbean. “It has helped us bond with each other and strengthen links within ITF unions. It is essential that young transport workers understand the current political situation and fight together to overcome the challenges of the neoliberal politics hitting our region”.

Baker Khundakji, ITF Youth Co-ordinator, commented that after the national activities the young transport workers have begun making a difference by digitising their union tools and building lists to ensure active youth memberships. She added that the ITF will continue to support their growth and empower them to face the challenges of the new labour markets.

The workshop was supported by a Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung project that aims incorporate young workers into union structures in the Asia Pacific, Latin America and Caribbean regions.

Get involved with other young workers to make an even bigger impact – join the ITF global young transport workers network now. See the latest stories from the ITF young transport workers network on Twitter and Facebook.

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