American union federation AFL-CIO plans to intensify its efforts to organise young workers. Richard Trumka, the new chairman of the AFL-CIO, said: “Young people want to be involved but they’re rarely asked. Their priorities are even more progressive than the priorities of the older generation of working people, yet they aren’t engaged by co-workers or friends to get involved in the economic debate. Currently, 18-to-35-year-olds make up a quarter of union membership. And at the AFL-CIO Convention, we will ask Convention delegates to approve plans for broad recruitment of young workers, as well as plans for training and leadership of young workers who are currently union members. And that’s just the beginning of a broad push towards talking and mobilizing young workers in the coming months and years.”
Trumka made his statement on the occasion of the publication of a report on the deteriorating economic situation of young workers. As many as 34% of workers under 35 live with their parents for economic reasons. A third cannot pay their bills and 37 percent have put off education or professional development because they can’t afford it.