Interviews: Young Workers from Around the World Speak about Capitalism, the World of Work, and the Action of the Movement Print

The IYCW seminar held in Belgium last September was an opportunity to interview young workers from each continent. Antoine from Belgium, Doriabelle from Gabon, Meiver from Venezuela, and Nanang from Indonesia shared their views about the world of work and the action of the movement.


altNanang, Indonesia YCW


What are the main challenges for the movement in your continent regarding capitalism?


In our continent, it is a big challenge to organize the workers in the factories; they work long hours and that is why they have no time to join our meetings. There is also a lack of awareness: workers do not know what their rights are. Other challenges include individualism and consumerism: in factories employers (capitalists) create competition among workers.


Moreover, the government's work regulation is not good: e.g. they allow short term contracts. As a consequence, young workers have no security in life, no safe income and no social protection. The government uses repression against workers when they want to set up a trade union. When there is an action to fight with the employers, the police come to control the workers.


What do you think of the seminar?


I like the seminar. It is important to meet leaders from other countries, to develop a common perception about the working class, the methodology and capitalism. The seminar is an opportunity to explore the experiences of other countries in order to know their problems and to create solidarity.


What does this seminar mean for the action in your national movement?


This is the first time that I am joining a seminar like this. I will share the experiences in the national movement of Indonesia. I will share the common problems and strategies to overcome them, in order to implement them in the national movement. I will tell the people of my NM that we have a network and solidarity in YCW. It is important because the activists in Indonesia need to know, “We are not alone in our struggle, we are all together. Don’t be afraid!”



altDoriabelle, Gabon YCW


What do you think of this seminar?


I think it is a really good thing. We have discussed a lot about the reality of young workers today. We have also defined our common needs, as well as our strategies in order to move forward. I have learned a lot about the analysis and action, namely the process of development of the action and toward whom to direct the action, with whom and why.


What is the most important thing you will bring back to the Gabon YCW?


Here we have had a platform for an exchange between young people from different countries and origins. This is a moment where young people can express their feelings about the reality in their country and develop a plan on the economical, political and social level. When I return to Gabon I will have a meeting with the young workers and organize training on the task of education and the self-financing of the action.


What is the main challenge regarding the methodology in the actions?


The main challenge is to develop new methods to learn the methodology of the movement. In the microfinance action in Gabon, I saw that the implementation of the methodology in the analysis and action was insufficient. We can strengthen this through training and awareness-raising.



altMeiver, Venezuela YCW


What do you think of the international seminar?


The YCW, as an international youth movement, has a challenge and a social orientation, i.e. a classless society. Living in communities of love and struggle came out as one objective of the movement. Today there are contradictions on how we can achieve this objective. We can say that capitalism has specific policies promoting selfishness, individualism, consumerism and competition among young people and among workers in order to create division in the working class.


What does this seminar mean for the action of your national movement?


The seminar was an opportunity to share our experiences of action in various sectors, to study the causes and consequences of the current system, to analyze the reality of young people in greater depth in all walks of life, the reality of those who work, those who are unemployed, those who study in order to find a job, those who live in the neighborhoods, those who depend on a salary to survive. We were able to have an international vision. The international seminar helped us to identify some critical problems faced by the movement, such as how to live out the worker character of the YCW and how young people identify with the working class. The information and analysis we got here will be taken back to the grassroots. This will help us to reach out to other young people wherever they are and to define the steps to be taken to promote change through our action.


In your opinion, what are the challenges of the IYCW in your continent?


The challenges are: continue the training process with young people taking our methodology into account and reviewing it; strengthen the movement, know where young people are; review the continental plan of action defining the challenges the YCW has in terms of action, coordination and training. In addition, we should take advantage of the continental meeting in the Americas to invite some European movements.



altAntoine, Walloon YCW


What are the main challenges of the movement in your continent regarding the working class?


Work has changed over the years; it is now characterized by flexibility, precariousness and unemployment. There was a huge change in Europe from an industrial economy to a service economy. The development of work makes it more and more difficult for young workers to have a place in society. Flexibility and precariousness affects all aspects of young workers’ lives. This causes problems in terms of housing, planning of life and often causes major physical and mental illnesses.


What do you think of the seminar?


It is a good seminar.  We have analyzed our movement and the challenges it is facing, and have spoken about our methodology. That is the YCW: it is organized by and for young workers. Whilst the movement develops further, it has strong continuity. It is also a good seminar because we have met other people and got to know the realities of young workers from other countries. We are like a big family.


What does this seminar mean for the action in your national movement?


We will bring the results of the seminar to the national secretariat and to the grassroots. The international aspect is very important for us as Walloon YCW. We have analyzed common challenges and goals; now we will use them as a basis to prepare for the next international council in Germany.

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