AFL-CIO to Target America’s Youth

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AFL-CIO to establish special council for young workers
By Mark Gruenberg
8 August 2010

Responding to demands from its first-ever Youth Summit less than three months ago, the AFL-CIO will establish a special council of young workers from around the country to consider, refine and channel their demands and to help connect the labor movement to young labor.

The council is the most fully developed part of the federation’s increased outreach to youthful workers, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler told Press Associates Union News Service and the Bureau of National Affairs in an exclusive Aug. 5 interview at the federation’s Executive Council meeting in downtown Washington.

Shuler, herself only 39, was the prime mover behind the summit — along with data showing union members are older and grayer than the U.S. workforce as a whole. Only 5% of workers aged 18-24 are unionized, compared to 16% of those aged 45-64.

Further, according to the 300 youthful activists at the summit, labor doesn’t know how to reach and involve young workers, needs to adapt to changing non-traditional work environments, and must start 2-way communication, among other things.

Shuler’s report to the council touched on all those issues and more, including the need to educate young workers about unions. “There are a lot of moving parts to this” and it’s still being developed, and will be road-tested through webinars, she said.

Read more @ Workday Minnesota.

Give me four years to teach the children

and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.

Vladimir Ilyich Lenin


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