MADRID: Symposium on Decent Work for Young Precarious Workers in UE 27

Press release | 13 July 2011

MADRID, 13 JULY 2011 (ACTRAV INFO)- From 11 to 13 July 2011, the Bureau for Worker’s Activities (ACTRAV) took part in a symposium in Madrid on "Decent Work for Young Precarious Workers in EU 27” .

The main objectives of the symposium were to gain an improved understanding of precarious work; increased knowledge on the situation of youth in the labour market; improved knowledge of measures recently adopted in Member States to extend the rights of precarious workers, with emphasis on youth and the promotion of transnational cooperation among workers’ organizations, and dissemination of best practices on the organizing and recruitment of young precarious workers.

“The most interesting and important results achieved were clearly the findings of the working groups on organizing precarious workers. The participants identified collective problems, such as: a lack of information and knowledge about unions or, more precisely, a lack of presence and visibility of unions for young precarious workers. It was striking to hear reports that the political connection between unions and political parties is seen as highly critical by young people. Another central element was the claim that the labour movement needs to reduce fragmentation. Trade unions have to make frustration and anger explicit to make conflicts become collective issues. In such a way solidarity can be enhanced”, said Andreas Bodemer, ACTRAV’s Associate Expert.

The participants also identified some problems such as the individualization of labour relations, increased job rotation, and the fact that daily life is now affected by precarization which leaves little space for the development of collective identities and collective action.

Note that this symposium took place in the larger context of the joint European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), International Training Centre Turin (ITC), and Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) pilot project “Decent Work for Precarious Workers”.

For more information, contact:

ACTRAV’s Associate Expert
Tel: +41 22 799 63 67
Emaiil: bodemer[at]ilo[dot]org