Today, 15 October 2013, young worker representatives coming from 25 European countries and 37 ETF affiliates have elected the first ETF Youth Committee in the Transunion Youth Conference organised in Zagreb, Croatia. Thereby the ETF concludes the process that started in 2009 when the ETF Congress gave a green light to set up a youth structure and better involve young workers in the ETF policy making.
Together with the election of 12 young workers and one young woman representative the ETF Youth Conference discussed and adopted its working programme for the coming four years, to be ratified by the ETF Executive Committee taking place on 14 and 15 November. The Committee will focus on tackling the impact of the European crisis and climate change on young workers in transport and promoting gender equality in trade unions and the sector.
The freshly installed ETF Youth Committee elected among its members two co-chairs and three young workers to become youth representatives in the ETF Executive and Management Committee. The inclusion of young workers in ETF decision making bodies has been formalised in the ETF Constitution, adopted at the ETF 2013 Congress. Thereby the ETF demonstrates its commitment to focus on young workers in its working priorities.
ETF General Secretary, Eduardo Chagas: “The sense of urgency to involve young workers in trade union bodies and developing strategies became very high given the current situation in Europe with unseen records with regard to youth unemployment and the European social decline. The ETF is dedicated to take into account young workers’ issues when developing and implementing its strategies and will promote this approach towards all its affiliates.”
The newly elected ETF Youth Committee’s co-chairs, Marco Rafolt (EVG) and Sara Tripodi (FILT CGIL) stated afterwards: “This is the start of an exciting time where young workers can show their commitment to develop, in cooperation with the ETF Executive Committee and ETF Sections, effective strategies to tackle the challenges we as young transport workers face in Europe. We have a lot of work ahead of us but we can count on an active Committee and Youth Network to implement our working programme.”
Young trade union members from other ITF regions were invited to attend the conference to observe the process ETF is going through, learn about young workers’ issues in Europe and talk about their own experiences. The Transunion Youth Conference was the closing event of the EU-funded project called “Transunion Youth – Training and empowerment of European young transport trade unionists for addressing youth employment and social policy challenges in Europe”.