Today's guest blog was written by Ryan Brunet, Local 1102 RWDSU
Young workers are the future of our unions today.
It is important that we involve them as much as possible, for they will be tomorrow’s leaders. Young workers are creative, productive, and have high expectations of being empowered to take on challenges. They have a strong desire to succeed at these challenges especially when there’s a high level of personal involvement. Young workers want to be involved. They feel a great sense of pride when they can contribute to the decision-making process.
Young workers generally do not have many avenues that allow them to make a real impact in their work place. Involving young workers in unions and union activities directly empowers them and gives them a say in the work place. It allows them to have a voice that can be heard.
To engage young workers, you need to empower them. We can do this by giving them a way to communicate with other young workers who share common interests. Asking them for feedback on specific questions allows us to see things from their point of view. I am a young worker myself and have grown up in the age of technology. This technology has changed the way we communicate. In earlier years mass mailing or leafleting may have been the best way to spread the word. Today we email, text message, and instant message. I believe that it is important that we have well created websites where young workers can go to easily learn more about unions. Websites, message boards, and blogs give the young worker the ability to reach out, ask questions, and receive answers all from the comfort of their homes. They can contribute their thoughts and ideas without feeling "put on the spot". These forums allow them to share their prospective and interests with other young workers.