Date Released: 28 October 2014
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) Youth Committee is to launch its Rights Campaign for young people in Ireland on Wednesday, October 29th. A public meeting will take place at 5.00pm in the Twisted Pepper on Abbey Street and feature young trade unionists, student representatives and performance artists.
The Rights Campaign identifies five demands to renew citizenship for young people in Ireland: A right to a future in Ireland; A right to a job; A right to decent and secure employment; A right to equal pay for equal work; A right to collectively bargain with their employers.
The campaign’s launch meeting will focus on the right to a job and decent conditions.
The event will feature an all-woman panel as an expression of the commitment of ICTU Youth to building a trade unionism which facilitates women taking leading roles in society.
• Katie O’Kelly (producer of a one-woman play called Counter Culture on the difficulties of working a zero-hour contract) will perform segments of the show and discuss its significance to experience of young people in work in Ireland.
• Laura Harmon (President of the Union of Students in Ireland) will talk about their position on young people’s rights in work, the difficulties faced by many working students and efforts to build student-staff relationships in Higher Education.
• Tara Keane (member of Mandate trade union who organised the La Senza workers’ strike) will talk about how young workers can fight and win better pay and conditions in their workplaces by organising.
After the panel discussion the meeting will be closed by Congress President, John Douglas.
Derek Keenan, chairperson of the ICTU Youth committee said: "Young people have been amongst the hardest hit by the economic crisis. Youth unemployment remains at 25% and many of our generation still have to leave to find work.
“The government failed to take the opportunity in the recent Budget to alleviate the burden faced by young people by retaining discriminatory rates of social welfare, failing to abolish free labour schemes like JobBridge and increasing tuition fees for higher education.”
Committee vice-chairperson Teresa Walsh said: "Successive governments have shown no awareness of the challenges facing young people, especially those that have arisen from the recession. Now as the recovery is taking root, young people must speak up and be heard. The ICTU Youth Rights campaign is a positive contribution to securing a successful future for the youth of Ireland.”