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International Week of Young Workers 2014: “Young Workers in Mandela’s Footsteps” PDF Print E-mail

An Inspiring Legacy in Our Fight for Just Work and a Sustainable Social Protection System

 

altFrom 24th to 30th April and on 1st May each year, the IYCW engages into activities and actions aimed at celebrating the International Week of Young Workers and May Day. These activities and actions confront the social, political, economical, cultural ills that continue to plague the living and working conditions of millions of young women and men today.

 

This year, the IYCW marks this extraordinary week in the calendar of the movement by learning the “Pillars of Nelson Mandela’s legacy; Lessons and Inspirations”. Mandela, a selfless freedom fighter of the working class, who stood for justice, human dignity and non-racialism. The IYCW believes that his example will live on and will continue to inspire all young workers, and the world.

 

The struggles of political activists are interlinked with the struggle of young workers and the working class. Young workers have always been a progressive and a militant voice since the formation of the YCW in 1912. The idea to form the YCW came from a young priest, Cardijn. The idea alone was a militant one.

 

Of course, our struggle for just work and dignified life, social protection, gender equality and quality education will not be an easy one. Today, young workers are faced with a heavily anti-collective program.

 

The kind of economy currently in place has created a general situation of unemployment that forces most young people to resort to the informal economy for their survival. This is particularly true in developing countries. Workers in this sector are most often not recognized as workers and are denied their basic rights such as job security, social protection, and freedom of association.

 

It is also becoming increasingly true for industrialized countries where the industrial system is collapsing. This has created a new type of labour market, often described as “labour flexibility,” which turns permanent workers into casual or temporary workers. This work policy deprives workers of any sort of security in life, preventing them from planning their future.

 

As we draw inspiration from Mandela, this unusual human being, we must continue to deepen our action process and ask ourselves how far these actions are changing the lives and situations of young workers towards achieving a just society. Mandela showed us that it is important to ask such a question.

 

The International Week is and has always been about making demands to improve the lives of all young workers. The IYCW wants its actions and proposals to reach young workers and by doing so, to ensure an increase in the number of activists and/or young people in contact with the movement.

 

Today young workers remain the major resources of the world and also represent its potential for the future. It is therefore essential to promote the International Week of Young Workers for young workers to publicly expose their plight, demand a proper legal status and protection from the state authorities, fight for their rights, and build efficient solidarity.

 

With, by and for young workers,

 

In solidarity,

 

Isak Krampona

General Secretary

 
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