EPSU young members took part at international youth conference in Baku

(15 November 2017) On 6-7 November, ITUC PERC Youth Committee held a conference on “Organizing Young Workers” in Baku, Azerbaijan. The event was supported by ILO-ACTRAV and hosted by the Azerbaijani Trade Union Confederation (ATUC). The two-day conference was attended by 30 youth representatives from 18 countries, including members of the EPSU Youth Network. The main aim of the Committee was to organize ITUC affiliates, their young workers and to put the issues of youth in the limelight of the trade union movement.

The participants of the conference were welcomed by the chairman of ATUC and a vice-president of ITCU and PERC Mr. Sattar Mehbaliyev. In his welcome speech, Mehbaliyev emphasized the changing nature of work and the fundamental role trade union youth should have in the future of labor market.

ETUC-CES Policy Advisor on PERC Goda Neverauskaite provided an overview of ITUC’ structural composition. She touched upon campaigns affiliated with ITUC such as exposing hidden workforce of major global brands. Maria Tsirantonaki from ITUC’s Equality department outlined the main goals and political agenda of the ITUC Youth Committee. ETUC Youth Committee Bureau member Želimir Stanič contributed by sharing the structure and work priorities of the ETUC Youth Committee.

ILO ACTAV Desk Officer for Europe Sergeyus Glovackas joined the meeting via video call to brief the participants on technology and the future of labor, digitalization, decent work and upcoming specialized events. ITUC PERC Youth Committee President Tatiana Marian reported on the activities of the 5th Youth Committee work. In 2016-2017, the outgoing Committee prioritized organizing, migration policies and youth participation in the work force.

Participants of the conferences shared their presentations on best practices, effective unionizing and successful campaigning. Alexandr Nurik from KTR presented on a case of successful unionizing to protect migrants working at the fast food chain in Russian Federation. Giga Bekauri from GTUC shared best practices of mobilizing youth to stand in solidarity with the working people in Georgia while Tomas Jakutavičius from LPSK Youth informed the conference on organizing youth in Lithuania. The conference further discussed the importance of unionizing in industries where trade unions do not exist, attracting new members and fighting for including young people to labor market.

ITUC PERC Youth Network concluded the conference by electing the 6th cycle of the Youth Committee and setting out the priorities for upcoming two years.