Young workers conference – Friday 28 January

Union Matters, Young Workers

As preparations continue for the first CWU Young Workers national conference since 2019, young activists highlight recent industrial successes and their positive impact…

“As a union, we need to promote our work and our achievements more – particularly when we achieve new industrial agreements that directly benefit younger workers,” says CWU Young Workers Committee chair Quincy Raymond.

Speaking to CWU News as she prepared for the union’s Young Workers National Conference, which takes place on Friday 28th January, she cited the agreement reached just before Christmas with Openreach on personal travel time (PTT) as a good example of this.

“PTT was something that impacted our younger members disproportionately, as it was of particular concern to people who started their employment after 2014,” explained Quincy, who belongs to the union’s Tyne & Wear Clerical Branch.

“So very well done to our CWU Openreach national team for their determined hard work over a long period to get this deal done – it’s a real step forward and something concrete that shows how our union delivers for young workers.”

John Carson, who serves as one of the two Young Worker representatives on our national executive council, agreed that the union should make “more of a big deal” of its industrial successes in terms of how they are “clear proof that trade unionism works for young workers.

“In Royal Mail, the new pensions scheme provides a much better prospect than before of retirement security tomorrow for the young workers of today – I know it’s a long way off for our generation, but it’s a massively important issue – and the new targeted recruitment scheme for training new postal workers and driver training opportunities are further examples of how the CWU fights for and wins for young workers,” explains John, from our Glasgow & District Amal Branch.

Conference opens at 10.30am on the 28th and general secretary Dave Ward will use his speech to encourage CWU Young Workers to actively participate in the forthcoming Grow the Union campaign, which will aim to build and increase membership and strengthen our network of activists.

“Trade unions must lead the way in building support for radical change and I want our young workers to be at the heart of this work,” says Dave, adding: “The CWU has produced some brilliant young representatives in recent years and we must ensure this continues.

“Young Workers’ Conference represents a chance for you to participate in the
democracy of the union and I would encourage you to not only speak about young workers’ issues – but to form your opinions on our industrial work, our political strategy and our key campaigns.”

The event, which is online, can be followed here and in a direct message to CWU Young Members, Quincy says: “Please take part, follow the online links and take the opportunity to ask your questions, make your points and get your voice heard.

“There are important policy motions to discuss and debate, particularly of the need for stronger support for young workers, including a motion calling for a national briefing of branch secretaries focussing on this.

“We’re looking forward to seeing and hearing from you on the 28th.”