JOC Europe gets moving in the Ukraine
"We want change in our society"
An economic crisis felt across the world in 2008, has had a huge impact on the situation of young workers in the Ukraine. The stories of young workers interviewed by local members of the YCW in L'viv, show us that the official figures of unemployment cannot fully express the reality lived by the unemployed in their search for work. In addition, workers who were affected by precarious conditions in the workplace, hesitate to share their experiences for fear of losing their jobs.
"I work in a factory that makes electronics for mobile phones. The crisis has had a bad impact on us all. Many people were fired. In addition, many of my colleagues are now working without contract because of the crisis. Our salary has also been reduced and I only work three days a week. It is not enough"
- Ivan, 24 years, L'viv
Since 2005, the YCW (known as PHM in the Ukraine) has been working to collect the experiences of young unemployed, not only to learn more about their situations, but together with them, to take practical steps towards change. Our work in the Ukraine is continuing, and at this time of economic crisis, the working conditions of young people are increasingly precarious. For this reason, JOC Europe is taking time to invest in making more contact with young job seekers, and those in temporary and precarious work.
"My salary is very low. It means I have to rent a room which I share with two others. I can't rent a room for myself alone. In winter, it gets very cold. I was hospitalised twice because I became ill from the cold. With my salary I need to pay the rent and clothing for work, so I save by not buying much food. I know this is no good, because I don't get enough vitamins and I'm often getting sick" - Natalia, 26 years, L'viv
Anna, one of our newest members in the PHM Ukraine, has recently started to work full-time to help build the movement in the Ukraine. Anna has been busy collecting stories from young workers, who, like herself, have experienced the difficulties of unemployment and the uncertainty of work without a permanent contract. We recently interviewed Anna to know a little more about her experiences and those of others in the Ukraine.
"During the economic crisis, I found work in the mountains outside of L'viv. It was another temporary contract, and it was interesting, but it was stressful and unstable. Many others like me, left the city to try and find work in other places. The crisis had a big impact on our lives."
- Anna, 27 years, L'viv
PreCaRIousneSs spells crisIS for young workers everywhere
JOC Europe in action to guarantee a "tomorrow"!
Do you know if you will be working tomorrow? Are you sure you'll have a job, a place to live, an income to allow yourself to be independent and make decisions about your life? Well, millions of young workers around the world don't really have any certainty about their future. Employment that lasts from between a few hours to a few months, is a daily reality for too many young workers. Is it really too much to ask to have a contract of work that lasts for more than a day or a week? Is it possible to have a social system accessible to all, that protects us from unemployment and insecurity? After all, the UN Declaration of Human Rights tell us that "Everyone has the right to work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and to protection against unemployment." (Article 23). The young workers we've spoken to would like the chance to have a little more certainty and security in their lives, and for this reason, we've decided to take action.
Where did this plan come from?
For several years, the International YCW (IYCW) has been developing analysis and action in response to the different realities faced by young workers everywhere, in all types of employment: young people working without contracts in the informal economy; young women workers - facing discrimination and insecurity; unemployed and apprentices - facing difficulties to enter the labour force, and young workers in temporary and precarious working conditions, facing limited employment possibilities. These different international experiences of life and work, have been helping us here in Europe to develop our focus for action - our starting point for changing the world! What we've discovered through our action and collection of testimonies of young workers, is a common key concern: labour precariousness and its influence on young workers' lives. Young workers - as interim labourers, as migrants, unemployed, as temporary workers - live the daily insecurity of not knowing when they might work again, or how to guarantee an income to meet their basic needs.
European YCW (JOC Europe) is an organisation of young workers from several different countries. It is a member of an International YCW (IYCW) movement existing in five continents. In Europe there are YCW members right across the continent, from North to South and from East to West.
The YCW is a Movement that educates through action. A school of life. Starting out from young workers' daily life, experiences and aspirations, the YCW uses a method to SEE (analyse), JUDGE (reflect) and ACT to create change. We meet together to analyse the collective problems young people face in their working and day to day lives. In the process, young people grow more aware of their situations, and discover what they want to change to create a society that reflects the values of solidarity and human dignity.
We want to join forces and get organised so that we can direct our thoughts, aspirations and energies towards improving the quality of life for all. For this reason we attach a lot of importance to training young activists who can create and lead groups, communities and teams in order to put an end to existing inequalities.
We are open to everyone who wishes to get involved in our projects, but we give the highest importance to the active participation of young workers in all levels of the organisation. We are active at a local, national and international level through actions and activities promoting our vision of solidarity and justice for all.
Our task also includes representing young workers at the level of political institutions in Europe.
For all these reasons, we invite you to get to know us better!
Come and join us!
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