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Young workers pay highest price for the crisis

14 May, 2012In 2011 more and more young people took to the streets in Europe as they realised that they are the number one victims of the crisis. After the financial crisis hit in 2008 the result has been the worst in 30 years. The result in Europe is not only an economic crisis but a far-reaching social crisis.

EUROPE: With the current context and the forecasts for the months to come, the international trade union movement calls to mind that with 45 million young people entering the labour market each year, the threat of youth unemployment can no longer be ignored. On May14-15, young trade unionists from all over the world met in Guadalajara, Mexico, prior the G20 Labour and Employment Ministerial Meeting, to focus the G20's attention on the dramatic situation of young people looking for a job.

"Wage policies need to ensure that young people receive 'the rate for the job'. Minimum wages for young workers must not be lowered - this would only spark a race to the bottom," said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.  "The rights of young workers should not be compromised through weakening their protection at work."

The International Trade Union Confederation report: "The Social Crisis Behind the Economic Crisis - the Millions of Young People Unemployed", was released at the ITUC Youth Committee meeting in Guadalajara, Mexico and looks closely at the situation of young European workers and the answers from the trade union movement to the problems they face.

Since the economic crisis began, the rise in unemployment has hit young people hard and threatens long-term growth potential, the ITUC report not only looks at the situation but also looks closely at how trade unions need to adapt to changing times. In order for young people to make their issues heard they need to integrate into trade union structures and push their issues forward.