03 October 2003
Young Workers get Strong Voice in Unions
Many young workers say that being undervalued and discriminated against because of their age are their biggest problems in the workplace, the Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said today.
The CTU Young Workers Council meets for the first time in Auckland tomorrow. It will have the same status within the CTU structure as the Maori, Pacific Island, and women’s committees, giving young workers a strong voice in the union movement.
Members from unions representing teachers, nurses, retail workers, service industries and the public sector will attend the meeting.
“The Young Workers Council will look at supporting union initiatives to recruit and assist young members,” Carol Beaumont said. “It is aiming to come up with an action plan to get more unions involved in initiatives to help young workers.”
The main issues facing young people at work are paying off student loans on low wages, casualisation, and discrimination, she said.
“Money is an issue, but when young workers talk about the things they would most like to change at work, the main issue is about respect,” Carol Beaumont said. “They want to be valued, and have their input and views taken seriously.”