21 June, 2016Young workers affiliated to IndustriALL unions in Chile met to discuss union policies at a seminar in Santiago on 2 and 3 June.
“We discussed policies relevant to young workers in the trade union movement. We hope that they will use what they learn to make their unions stronger. The most important thing is that they get the opportunity at the workplace to raise all the ideas that were discussed here. The struggle continues, training will also continue,” said the national president of IndustriALL Chile-CONSTRAMET, Horacio Fuentes.
Participants learned about the Chilean labour market and problems like outsourcing. They also exchanged ideas on workers' rights and duties, collective bargaining and strikes.
IndustriALL Global Union was represented by the assistant regional secretary and youth projects coordinator, Marino Vani, who made a presentation on IndustriALL’s global youth strategy.
He pointed out that the resolutions approved by IndustriALL affiliates in Latin America and the Caribbean suggest there is a need to prioritize the training and education of young workers. It is therefore indispensable to develop ongoing policies that link education, organization and unionization projects and allocate resources to develop these policies.
Vani added that the unions must provide opportunities for young workers to get involved, such as forming youth departments and groups. He insisted that unions must involve young workers in the formulation and development of union policies and actions in order to promote equal opportunities for young workers and women in the labour market.
“This meeting achieved its aim, which is to involve young workers in social, political and economic issues. They have and will have a role in influencing social change and acting as society’s conscience. Young workers can achieve political change by going out on to the street and speaking up for all those who cannot,” said Blanca Carreño Elgueta of IndustriALL Chile at the meeting.
The seminar, which was supported and funded by Swedish trade unions as part of their Union Strengthening Project, also included presentations by trade union leaders Horacio Fuentes, Miguel Soto, Jorge Murúa, Luis Salfate and Nicole Flores. They drew on their experience in the trade union movement to provide practical advice to the young workers who attended the seminar.
Finally, IndustriALL Chile’s National Youth Secretary, Victor Salfate, highlighted the needs of young workers in IndustriALL Chile and the work that still remains to be done. Seminar participants formulated a plan of work, actions and activities aimed at strengthening trade union youth’s role in IndustriALL Chile/ CONSTRAMET.
Marino Vani said, “I congratulate IndustriALL Chile-CONSTRAMET and young workers affiliated to this union for implementing the important and strategic policy of strengthening youth, as approved at IndustriALL Global Union’s regional conference in 2014 in Bogotá”.