2015 Constitutional Convention Coverage: Young Workers Initiative Committee

Young Workers Shine!

uwuamag_summer2015_constconv-ywicUWUA President Mike Langford formed the UWUA’s Young Workers Initiative Committee (YWIC) in 2010 with the sole purpose of getting younger workers more involved with union activities and important social and economic issues. Since then, the YWIC has been hard at work. The fruits of their labor was on display for all to see, as YWIC members made educational and inspiring presentations at the convention. Over three days, YWIC members made presentations focusing on the following three core principles of their young workers program:

(1) improved communication with, and education of, all members utilizing the Member-to-Member Program;
(2) improving the public view of unions through benevolent actions and building community partnerships; and
(3) fighting for social and economic justice through political action. YWIC members then challenged convention delegates:

Eric Hoffman

Eric Hofmann and young workers from Local 132, SoCal Gas, got involved in a rate case with their Executive Board and National Staff. “This helped show everyone that young workers do want to get involved and do care, provided we are given the opportunity.”

“Every major change in this country began as a movement, and every movement has been led by those who believed in their cause enough to risk everything to fight for it. This is our movement and I ask you, brothers and sisters, who better to lead this fight? Who better than us?”

“This committee realizes if we want change, we can’t just talk about it, we have to do something about it,” said President Langford. “And that is exactly what this committee has done. We have much to be proud of with this group of tomorrow’s leaders.”

The YWIC is a diverse group of UWUA women and men ages 18-35. It functions as an educational and advisory organization to assist UWUA locals in establishing young worker groups and developing progressive and relevant agendas. The committee is made up of 15 members representing each of the UWUA’s five regions and chaired by National Representative Reggie Davis.

Young Workers Initiative Committee Presentation – Day 1

 Young Workers Initiative Committee (YWIC) members Paul Talboo from Local G-555, Nick Passerelli from Local 18007, Joe Fern from Local 18007, and Craig Pinkham from Local 369 took the stage to give a much anticipated presentation. YWIC explained their three core principals:  1) Improved communication and education 2) improved public view of unions, and 3) fighting for social and economic justice through political actions.

The committee discussed how the economy is a top issue yet the candidates do not connect with their voters on it. This has caused the voter turnout to decrease, but there is hope with the uptick in Democratic vote share. Moreover, they discussed other top issues including the need to increase minimum wage. YWIC listed out more proposals that the public support, including rebuilding the infrastructure leading to job creation. They explained how money plays a major role in the elections, using the Koch brothers as an example.

Young Workers Initiative Committee Presentation – Day 3

Eric Hofmann from UWUA Local 132 introduced the Young Workers Initiative Committee (YWIC) panel: Sharon Griffith from Local 1-2, Jessica Evans, Local 132, and Steve Lucero, Local 132. The group started off by presenting a plaque to Reggie Davis for all his help and paving the path for the YWIC.