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PSI South Africa Young Workers’ Meeting

04 February 2016
South Africa young workers' meeting
On 21 January 2016, the South Africa Young Workers’ Meeting was held at PSI’s Sub-Regional Office in Johannesburg. This meeting is part of the effort to enhance the sustained implementation of the project “Strengthening the Role of Young Workers in Public Sector Trade Unions in South Africa”, which started in the last quarter of 2015, and will run until December 2016.

Union leaders came together, regardless of domestic affiliation, to confront the common challenges faced by young workers.

Young workers in South Africa, in both the private and public sectors, continue to face problems of high job insecurity, precarious working conditions and low pay. They are deliberately kept out of the collective bargaining process through contractual work and out-sourcing. The result is that they cannot join nor participate in trade unions. These and other problems add to the vulnerability of young workers in the workplace, particularly in public services. Young women workers in public services also face other numerous challenges, including sexual and other forms of harassment, and discrimination in the workplace. It is in light of these challenges that young workers in public service unions in PSI commit themselves to confronting these issues and strive to achieve a better workplace and community.

The main objectives of the meeting were to deliberate on the best ways to implement the project activities, through a clear operationalization plan, as well as by strengthening the coordination capacities of the Young Workers’ Coordination Committee to pull all these activities together within the agreed timelines. Several proposals were tabled, including the need to have a focused approach on the best way to implement the action plan. This includes education and organising; campaigns and awareness building; research and information-dissemination; and international solidarity and exchange.

The amount of dedication, commitment and focus displayed by the young leaders in the meeting was overwhelming. Their commitment to implement their action plan shall definitely produce the positive results expected, and with the right amount of support from affiliate leaderships, they shall certainly attain the expected outcomes of the project. The agreed activities certainly do indicate a high momentum for this year, and everyone in the Young Workers’ Committee is looking forward to quickly implementing the decisions. The PSI sub-regional office would like to also convey their heartfelt appreciation to the national leaders of affiliates who have made possible the participation of young workers in this meeting.

PSI young workers in public service unions say no to privatisation! Out-sourcing! Corruption!

Young workers, the leaders of tomorrow, taking charge today of their working and community lives!

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