From across the country, 130 young workers came together in Port Elgin on July 8, 9 and 10 to strengthen their activist skills at the second Young Workers’ Conference.
The weekend provided an opportunity to arm young workers, many attending their first union event, with tools and tips to take action and fight for a better, socially just world.
Representatives on the Young Workers Committee and Roxanne Dubois, an Organizing Representative and Liaison to the Young Workers Committee, planned the conference with the objective of inspiring and inciting activism in young workers.
“There is no reason to wait until you are older or hold an elected position, start your involvement today to build Unifor today,” Dubois said.
Shane Wark, Assistant to the National President, was on hand to bring greetings to delegates. Wark stressed the importance of unity and working together as one big union from coast to coast to coast.
“We are a stronger and more effective union when we are working together, so make time to connect with delegates outside your area, and make a commitment to be active and keep our union strong.”
It was the largest young workers conference Unifor has held.
The opening night’s panel kicked off the conference with words of inspiration from three activists who have played an active role in building Unifor and the communities around them. The main message from the panelist was the power of education.
“The main tool in our tool box is to educate people. We need to show people how to fight back and this is how we can win,” said François Arsenault, Local 698, highlighting the need to open lines of communication.
The panel also included Samia Hashi, who recently helped to organize her own workplace at Bell.
Hashi reflected the sentiment of many delegates at the conference when she said, “I am just beginning my journey with Unifor and proud to be part of the union.”
A key message from all conference speakers was the need to keep fighting.
“Although at times, meeting our objectives and bringing about change can be a long task, we must always keep at it - action can make a difference!” Hashi said.