Young Workers' Month

01 November 2017


ASLEF set up a Young Workers’ Forum in January 2017 – with one elected member from each of our eight districts – to promote the voices of our younger drivers and encourage them to get involved, industrially and politically, in our union.

‘Given that the age demographic of train drivers is, typically, older than in most industries, ASLEF classes anyone aged 35 or under as a young member, in line with International Transport Federation organising structures,’ said Lee James, ASLEF’s equalities officer. ‘About one in eight – 12% of the ASLEF membership – fit this category.’

November has been designated Young Workers’ Month by the Trades Union Congress. ‘The purpose is to promote trade unions to young workers and to highlight the issues they face,’ said TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady. ‘It’s an opportunity for reps to reach out and inform young workers about unions and ensure thereyoung members are sufficient opportunities for young people to get involved and play an active role in shaping the movement.

‘It’s also a chance for unions to demonstrate to young people that we are campaigning on the issues they care most about and are relevant to their lives – in the workplace and beyond.’

ASLEF is holding its first young members’ conference at the International Transport Workers’ Federation offices in Borough Road, London SE1, on Tuesday 28 November. Speakers include Danielle Rowley, who took Midlothian from the SNP in June and is, at 27, the youngest Labour MP; Craig Dawson, chair of the TUC’s Young Members’ Forum; Deniz Akdogan of the ITF; and some of the McStrike workers who organised to take on the fast food giant that likes to pay employees as little as possible.

‘Every young member has been sent an invitation to attend,’ said Lee. ‘It would be great to get a good turnout.’

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