The future of trade unions depends on organising young workers. Unions must address the interests and concerns of these workers by strengthening young workers' networks. PSI Southeast Asia and the Philippines young workers' network jointly organised a one-day workshop on "young workers and trade union organising" in Manila, Philippines on 13 March 2014.
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Twenty participants representing the Philippines affiliates and young workers from Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore actively engaged in serious discussion on strengthening their unions.
During the workshop, all the participants agreed that joining a trade union is necessary and that being a member of a union was advantageous for young workers. They also discussed successful organising models such as the 3F model, i.e. ‘Flow In’ to identify new members and bring them into unions, ‘Flow Up’ where potential leaders are identified and trained and lastly, ‘Flow On’ where senior leaders are encouraged to mentor and pass on their knowledge gained over the years to the future leaders.
Representation, mobilisation, building relationships, understanding member concerns and assessing global issues are the five elements that the unions can put as organising strategies.
Formation of youth committees is also important to institutionalise and to strengthen the ability to voice out young workers’ issues in their organisations.
The young participants concluded the workshop and proposed three significant recommendations: (1) revitalising and strengthening the young worker’s network at each country, sub-regional, regional and global level; (2) organising and enhancing capability building through education and campaigns for young workers; (3) Implementing 30% quota of young worker participation in each activity run by PSI and its affiliates.