Message From Jerry Dias
Unifor was built to be a “union for everyone”, but especially a union for young workers.
Young workers have by-and-large been cut out of the economic equa on in Canada.
Despite working hard, possessing extraordinary skills, savvy and contribu ng to our overall economic successes, young people are faced with a future lled with uncertainty and instability – whether it’s lower career earnings, high levels of debt, temporary jobs or no re rement security.
These condi ons are chronic and have serious consequences for the social and economic health of Canada both now and in the future.
These are also the same condi ons that gave rise to unions in the rst place. Economic security has been built by an engaged working class, working together to make gains. That’s s ll the formula for building a fairer, more just society.
Young workers are the least likely to be in a union. They are the least likely to bargain a collec ve agreement. Yet, they are the group most willing and wan ng to join. Unifor was created to bridge that divide, providing young workers new organizing tools, and a new hope that bad jobs can be made good, and that workers – together – can be better off.
Young workers need unions today more than ever. And unions need young workers more than ever too.
Unions are only as strong as the resolve and determina on of their members. That’s no di erent in Unifor. Our union has a proud and inspira onal history, no doubt. But we can’t only look to the past for hope. No organiza on can sustain itself without looking to the future.
Unifor’s cons tu on recognizes the vital role young workers must play in our union. Our young workers program aims to provide members (35 years of age and younger) with the con dence and the skills to par cipate fully in union life. Through local, regional and na onal commi ees, I want our young members to be decision-makers; I want them to take ownership and pride in their union; I want Unifor to be responsive to their needs. An engaged young membership base means we are a stronger organization.
I support the work of our young ac vists across the country and the important contribu ons they make. They inspire me every day. I hope this handbook proves a useful tool as we work to establish young workers commi ees in all local unions and build a larger, more vibrant network of activists.
I hope young workers help build Unifor into the union it is des ned to become. In solidarity,