CWU Youth In Europe

Uni Europa Youth LogoCWU is affiliated to UNI Global Union – the voice of 20 million service sector workers around the world. Through 900 affiliated unions, UNI represents workers in 150 countries and in every region of the world. UNI represents workers in the Cleaning & Security; Commerce; Finance; Gaming; Graphical & Packaging; Hair & Beauty; ICTS; Media, Entertainment & Arts; Post & Logistics; Social Insurance; Sport; Temp & Agency Workers and Tourism industries.

Lee FishwickThe UNi Europa Youth conference took place on the 6-8th February in the Algarve. CWU was represented by Lee Fishwick (North Lances and Cumbria), Chantelle McNally (Scotland No 1), Stephen Gribben (Northern Ireland West) and Kye Dudd (Bristol and /district). As Lee reports, it was a busy three days.

There was a great turn-out from the UK and Ireland area with 15 delegates plus 3 guests all coming from a variety of different unions .The three day conference was structured around the future of the youth of Europe.

Day 1.

The conference was opened by the outgoing president Martina Hartung, who welcomed the delegates and gave a powerful speech raising the issues the youth face in a future Europe, and a report back from the steering group (who co-ordinate UNi Youth activity in-between conferences) on what they have done over the last 2 years.

The conference then moved on to an ice breaking session, where delegates from around Europe got to know each other.

First day of the conference was closed by Oscar Rothig, UNi Europa regional secretary.

Day 2.

This started with the electoral addresses of the vice president candidates’ – hustings, if you like, for one of the posts elected at the conference.

It then moved on to a presentation by UNi Europa woman’s committee, who talked about the campaign to achieve 40% of women on all UNi committees, and the mentoring programme that they are running as part of that process

Following the woman’s presentation there was an emotional presentation on the Payatas feeding programme which UNi Youth has been working for the past 4 years and helped raise thousands of euros for the impoverished children of the Philippines.

After lunch we moved on to the motions and the action plan for the newly-elected steering group, where considerable debate was had.

Kye Dudd - UNICWUYouth’s Kye Dudd rose to discuss the issues of legislation on strikes and put some very valid points forward.

The final part of day 2 was a round table discussion with myself and the vice president candidates on the state of Europe’s youth, personal thoughts and plans for UNi youth Europa over the next 2 years.

Day 3. This started with a presentation from a Turkish trade union about their battles with Ikea to gain recognition and a collective agreement.

Following this there was a there were case studies from Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Spain on how austerity is destroying the future of the youth of Europe.

After lunch the motions were voted on and adopted, followed by a presentation from the out going steering group – and introduction of the new one!

Uni Europa Youth Steering GroupFollowing the introduction of the new steering group, I made my presidential acceptance speech on I which I touched on looking forward to holding the role and working hard on the action plan. For CWUYouth to hold such a position is a reflection of the respect and our union is held in.

Conference was closed by the outgoing president Martina Hartung.

If any need any more information about the conference or about UNi youth please do not hesitate to contact me.

Lee Fishwick
President, UNi Europa Youth

For more about the conference, visit