Young Members Get Active!
A diary from our young members.
GMB young members’ hosted a talk by Mike Treen, from the Unite union of New Zealand, on their successful ‘Supersize My Pay’ Campaign. Focusing on their effective strategy of organising young workers in big name fast food outlets such as Macdonalds, Pizza Hut, KFC and Starbucks, Mike outlined how they were able to build membership by embarking on a number of activities which included demonstrations and industrial action. Unite won significant wage rises for many of these workers and was also successful in ending the age discrimination of New Zealand’s National Minimum wage.
The meeting was well attended, attracting members and activists from other trade unions and created a great sense of internationalism, This was heightened further by the presence of Axel Persson from CGT - one of the main TU Federations in France. Axel, a young trade union leader shared his experiences of these companies across France and of organising young workers which proved to be an invaluable lesson for us. Axel is guest speaker at the Young Members meeting at congress.
Our Regional Young Members’ Committee hosted an anti fascist activity day, organised and led by the Hope Not Hate campaign. Approximately 20 people from across the region came together to participate in a two hour workshop which covered topics such as the nature of the British National Party and why trade unions should campaign against fascism. This was followed by a leafleting exercise against the BNP in Heckmondwike. The BNP lost this seat, which goes to show how pivotal both the work of anti fascist organisations and our involvement in such campaigns are. Thanks to all those who were involved across the region in this essential activity. Particular thanks to Leeds General branch for their mobilisation of anti fascist activities in Leeds and Rotherham.
Utilising a number of lessons and methods courtesy of the Supersize My Pay Campaign, our young members have produced their own workplace bulletin for bar workers. Many of our members and particularly young members at college work in bars and pubs across the region. Our team decided to leaflet a number of bars around Sheffield University with the bulletin - which highlights key employment rights and health and safety concerns, encourages staff to contact GMB and outlines who we are and what GMB stands for. The team have made a number of good contacts and further activities are planned.
The summer and beyond…
As well as visiting Congress, supporting No Sweat, the anti exploitation campaign, further organising work and anti fascist activities - our young members are volunteering to work at key festivals over the summer. This year we are sending a team of 12 to pull pints at Glastonbury and a team of 18 to the Leeds festival. Via the Workers’ Beer Company we are able to raise money for campaigns whilst getting free entry to see the bands at the same time.
If you are interested in getting involved in any of the above and/or would be interested volunteering for bar work during the festival season, then please contact Kelly Andrews on email: firstname.lastname@example.org