YW Conference 2018: Report

Young Workers

Even Storm Fionn couldn’t stop delegates from descending on a very snowy Glasgow for the 2018 Young Workers Conference. Starting with a pre-conference get together the night before that saw the Scottish Regional Young Workers Committee regale those in attendance with a pub quiz and a raffle; raising £104 towards the CWU Charity Promise pot.

Delegates slipped and skated their way through the slush to the offices of the STUC for conference. CWU General Secretary, Dave Ward opened with a lively session on engagement, the world of work, new politics and new look trade unionism. He said that “open and frank discussions are needed to build a world of work and a model of trade unionism that is fit for the reality of today and for the future and young workers would need to play a crucial role in shaping that.”

A good discussion followed between the delegates and Dave: where it was clear that younger members needed to get more involved in making the union fit and relevant for today, for them – the members and for potential members.

He urged the younger members to take an active role in securing a good turn-out at the TUC march scheduled for 12 May 2018. It would send a clear message that younger people do care, are active and do need action if the CWU could have a large contingent of young people in their bloc on the day.

Hugh Gaffney MP and CWU member was warmly welcomed by the delegation and spoke about his love of the union and how, without its support, his journey to being elected may not have been as easy. He encouraged everyone to connect with the union and to work with them to improve each and everyone’s working life.

There were some healthy debates on motions that covered industrial issues such as:

  • reminding younger members of their basic rights within Royal Mail
  • BT pension schemes

And more general subjects such as:

  • training for branch young workers reps
  • equity between mothers and fathers when it comes to parental leave.

Dave Moxham, Deputy General Secretary of the STUC joined the conference to give a presentation on the work of the Better than Zero campaign which is a young trade union group fighting against zero hour contracts and exploitation in the hospitality industry.

The National Young Workers Committee have lots of work to do over the coming year as a result of the motions carried.

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