Young Workers Initiative Committee

Officers Report 2015, Part 19

In August 2010, President Langford formed the Utility Workers Young Workers Initiative Committee (YWIC). The objective was to get more UWUA young workers engaged in the activities of the Union and the labor movement. The committee adopted the YWIC Policies & Procedures in 2013, to foster diversity and opportunity. These guarantee that the committee’s make up will always be diverse, with young men and women representing each region. To give as many young workers as possible the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, each member serves a three-year term, with a staggered transitioning process to ensure continuity.

Since the 29th National Convention, the YWIC has played a major role in the progress of the Utility Workers and the labor movement as a whole. The committee has undertaken many projects in the fight for social and economic justice. During the 2012 Presidential election and the 2014 mid-term elections, the YWIC produced educational presentations and workshops on “right-to-work,” voter suppression, the importance of mid-term elections, and the role of young workers in the electorate and the labor movement. These workshops were presented at the 2013 P4A conference in Chicago, and at each UWUA Victory Conference since our last Convention.

The YWIC has had several days of action during each presidential and mid-term election, simultaneously throughout the country. The YWIC and volunteers took to the streets, handing out voter information and anti-voter suppression leaflets, to educate the public on these important matters. Like the workshops, these leaflets contained the current voter ID laws of the state, and any proposed related legislation, as well as information on voting rights.

The committee has received training in leadership and organizing, which it has used to implement the Member-to- Member program, and to chair local young worker groups across the country.

Currently, each YWIC member is mentoring other young workers in their respective regions, and is working with their local leadership to develop local UWUA young worker groups. In 2014, Local 601 formed their own young worker group, “The Evolutionaries.”

The YWIC recognizes the need to change the public perception of what a union is all about. With more public support, we can begin to turn the tide in the fight for social and economic justice. To this end, the committee has embarked on a campaign of charitable actions. We have gone into hospitals, shelters, missions and churches in our communities – volunteering, donating, and helping wherever we can. The overall objective is to raise awareness as to why, in the richest country in the world, when corporations are realizing enormous profits and wealth, we need to shelter, clothe and feed so many.

In the next four years, the YWIC will continue to fight for social and economic justice. We will develop more young leaders to bring new ideas and energy into the labor movement. We will use social media to educate and generate increased support for fairness and justice. Please encourage young workers in your locals, your families and your communities to get involved. Visit us on Facebook to see how we are working to make a difference.

Young Worker Initiative Committee Members

Sharon Griffith
Region 1, Local 1-2
Nick Passarelli
Region 4, Local 18007
Craig Pinkham
Region 1, Local 369
Joseph Fern
Region 4, Local 18007
Jessica Francis-Wright
Region 1, Local 601
Jason Colwell
Region 4, Local 223
Clinton Carson
Region 2, Local 102-G
Steven Lucero
Region 5, Local 132
Ryan Meadows
Region 3, Local 175
Eric Hofmann
Region 5, Local 132
Paul Talboo
Region 3, Local G555
Jessica Evans
Region 5, Local 132
Matthew Koch
Region 4, Local 107