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Held in November every year, TUC Young Workers Month promotes trade unions to young workers and shows how unions are relevant to their lives at work and beyond.

It is an opportunity for unions to campaign on the most important issues for young workers, give a platform to their organising activities and demonstrate the value that young members bring to the trade union movement.

This page will be updated over the next few months. Unions can use the resources and information below to help plan activities for November 2020.

Young workers

Young Workers Month 2020

In 2020 , we are focusing on organising young workers and young workers and mental health.

Our movement needs to grow if we are to continue to be one that can change the world of work. To do that, we need to find ways to increase the numbers of young members in our trade unions and to find the next generation of union reps and activists to represent members in the workplace. Without them, we won't be able to win the changes we want.

A mental health crisis is gripping our workplaces. Unhealthy working practices, low pay, insecure work, bullying and a lack of control – young people’s experience of work is increasingly causing poor mental health. Unions must hold employers to account – to reduce stress, improve terms and conditions, and support young workers with their mental health at work.

Alex Graham, TUC Young Workers Forum chair, has set out what we can expect this month and why it is important. 

Events

Young workers in office

Managing your mental health at work: TUC webinar | 12:30pm, Tuesday 10th November

Join Kendal Bromley, Vice Chair of the TUC Young Workers Forum, and Susanne Nichols and Ken Gyles from the Better Health at Work team in the North East, to discuss managing your mental health and how we can campaign to make it better in the workplace. 

Click here for more information and to register

Apprentice at work

The power of mentoring apprentices: Unionlearn webinar | 11am, Thursday 12th November

In these difficult times , Trade Unions are defending jobs up and down the country. The power of mentoring in enabling individuals to maintain and retain their apprenticeship is well known.  Trade union representatives have a key role in not only supporting mentoring initiatives but also becoming mentors themselves. Join us on this webinar to learn about the best way trade unions can support apprentices in these difficult times and more importantly how you can make a difference.  

Click here for more information and to register

Young reps talking

Building your reps network: TUC Education webinar | 2pm, Thursday 12th November

How do you identify union members who would make good reps? How do you persuade them to take on the role? How do you create the conditions for members to step up and become active in the union? Join us on Thursday 12th November to hear how unions have successfully built networks of reps, got them involved, supported them along the way and kept them motivated. We’ll also hear how unions have encouraged younger member to get more involved in their unions

Click here for more information and to register

Workers during Covid

Young workers during the pandemic | 7pm, Thursday 12th November

Join young trade union reps to hear how they have been continuing to organise in the face of the pandemic. Speakers include Lara McNeill (GMB), Rob Maisey (RMT), Luke Elgar (CWU), Clare Coatman (TUC) and Nick West (Unite)

Click here for more information and to register

Young cafe workers

Reaching young workers: TUC webinar | 7pm, Tuesday 24th November

Join Sarah Woolley (BFAWU), Nadia Whittome MP and Clare Coatman (TUC) to discuss the challenges Covid-19 is creating in the workplace, the disruption it has caused and more importantly, what trade unions can do about it. 

Click here for more information and to register

 

Workers roundtable

Organising on mental health: Young Workers Forum roundtable | 7pm, Thursday 26th November

Join with the TUC Young Workers Forum and TUC colleagues to discuss how we organise and campaign on mental health and what national policy changes we need to support better mental health. 

Click here for more information and to register

Resources

How to use webinars to reach workers and win change
This short blog gives some practical examples of how we can use webinars during these new ways of working. 

Talking mental health - webinar for reps
This webinar looks at the practical ways for union reps to promote good mental health in the workplace and offer support to workers who may be experiencing a mental health issue.

Getting by and getting on - A guide for reps about issues affecting young workers
A briefing for reps and officers to help bargain and campaign on issues that impact young workers.

My Union, My Voice - inspiring stories from young trade union reps
This booklet tells the inspiring stories of young workers who not only joined a union, but joined in too.

Research

Young workers are most at risk from job losses due to the coronavirus crisis
This report shows that young workers (aged 25 and under) face the highest risk of unemployment due to the coronavirus and calls for action to tackle any surge in youth unemployment. 

"I feel like I can't change anything"- Britain’s young core workers speak out about work (PDF)
This report takes a deeper look at the labour market trends affecting Britain’s young core workers and sets out the findings from our user-led research with young core workers.

Living for the Weekend - Understanding Britain’s young core workers (PDF)
Britain’s young core workers are at the sharpest end of the UK economy – and have the most to gain from trade union membership. Yet fewer than ten per cent are union members. This report sets the characteristics of young core workers, perspectives on their experience of the workplace, and the key challenges they face at work. It also attempts to dig deeper – looking at their attitudes and values towards work and society.

Blogs

Stress

How to resist the 'resilience' narrative - and organise for less stressful work

Shelly Asquith is TUC Health and Safety policy officer. She tells us how training workers to deal with stress is not the answer we need in workplaces, and how trade unions are the best route to change.

Talking

Mental health at work – time to tackle workplace stress and discrimination 

Too many workers are facing mental ill health due to poor treatment and conditions at work

 

 

Raise the wage

Organising for the future - how young trade unionists are leading the way

TUC Yorkshire and the Humber region have developed the Summer Patrol, an exciting new initiative to engage young workers. The project sent groups of young trade unionists from Yorkshire and Norway into workplaces across Sheffield, Doncaster and Barnsley. It helped us to connect with young workers in a different way, giving them a positive introduction to trade unions.

Young workers

To reach young workers, trade unionists need to step outside their comfort zone

Clare Coatman manages the TUC’s programme to reach younger workers. She tells her own story of exploitation at work and how that spurred her to join a union and make a difference.

 

 

TUC Library Exhibition 

Young workers exhibition

Young Workers and Unions - Agents for Change

Low pay, zero hours contracts, harassment and bullying in the workplace. Young workers have often been at the sharp end of bad working practices and most in need of support from trade unions.

This exhibition demonstrates the vulnerability of young workers through the last two hundred years and how they often took the lead to challenge these abuses and fight for change through their unions. It is based on the contents of the TUC Library at London Metropolitan University, using its printed, manuscript and visual resources to explore the history and role of young workers and trade unions. You can see the exhibiton here.

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