Hailey Johnson, Co-Chair of the Young Worker Committee
October our SEIU-West Young Worker Committee had the immense privilege of being a part of the first Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Young Worker Summit. This three day event held in Ottawa invited all young workers (unionized and non-unionized) from across Canada to learn, connect, and grow together. There was a large range of courses to take including Mental Health, Climate Change, Diversity, Unionism 101, Aging Out, Public Speaking, and many more. There were so many great young worker speakers, including organizers from the Fight for 15, Muhammad Ali the socialist rapper, and our very own Zoey Pricelys Roy who closed our session with an original piece she wrote about her experience at our summit. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came one morning, there was a huge protest against his government’s belief that precarious work is something young workers have to accept. We also let him know our frustration around the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), pipelines, and all the promises he has now withdrawn. Our committee enjoyed the fact that it was a bilingual summit which really broadened the variety of speakers.
Another amazing part was that it was virtually paperless – we had an App which allowed us to see our courses, find other workers, and ask questions instead of coming up to a mic and waiting in a line. It truly was an incredible experience and our committee looks forward to building on what we learned in order to grow young worker activism in our union and our communities.