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WFTU Statement on International Youth Day

On the occasion of international youth day, on 12 August 2023, the Working Youth Committee of the World Federation of Trade Unions expresses its internationalist solidarity with militant young workers all over the world for quality, free and universal education, dignified working and living conditions, and affordable housing and against informal, flexible, and child labor.

It is a fact that unemployment and poverty rates of youth is steadily higher, while the youth is often deprived of even the most elementary rights, such as the right to healthcare, education, and decent living. Simultaneously the working youth is exploited as a cheap workforce, with lower salaries, frequently by law, with informal work, part-time jobs or zero-hours contracts, and other forms of flexible work. In addition, capitalists are taking advantage of the so-called teleworking, using it as a contemporary form of flexible work. Moreover, the data in the majority of the countries record an increase in the number of young people who are neither in work nor in education or any training program.  Hence, it is once again obvious that youth is the first victim of the capitalist crisis, whether it is an economic one or any other crisis.

However, while young workers are the first victims of capitalist barbarity, the unionization rate among young workers is frequently lower than the respective rate of participation of the oldest workers. It is crucial for the WFTU, and its affiliates to promote in practice the equal participation of young workers in the activities and operation of trade unions making sure that they can assume important positions of responsibility. It is crucial to have faith in the role of the working youth which can give new blood, new dynamics, new life, and action to the trade unions.

The WFTU and its Working Youth Committee focus on the strengthening of the ideological level, the class consciousness, and the skills of its young trade unionists.  It is indisputable that youngsters are the future of the trade union movement, the future of the Labour movement, and WFTU always pays attention to the younger trade unionists, to help them not only get involved with our unions but also to lead them, to bear important posts, to work shoulder to shoulder with older comrades and cadres and to gain experience and skill by the class struggles.

The Working Youth Committee is currently working on the realization of a World Working Youth Conference in the upcoming months that will discuss all the main youth issues and will adopt an action plan intensifying the WFTU struggle for a dignified life of the youth. We are looking forward to your valuable contribution to this process.

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