The first ever BWI Global Summer School has just begun on 03 July in Eastbourne (United Kingdom), hosted by Unite the Union. With the recent electoral successes of Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in the UK being built off the back of the active involvement of both the trade union and youth movements, there couldn’t be a better place for 26 young trade union leaders to spend a few days sharing their struggles, strategies and successes in an increasingly polarised world.
BWI General Secretary Ambet Yuson opened the first day by welcoming the participants by outlining the work that BWI does and the critical role that young workers play within that. “At the same time as seeing global inequality skyrocket and the world hurtle towards runaway climate change, we are also amazed to see across the world young workers taking action to create a fairer, more just and more sustainable world.
“The BWI Global Summer School is an attempt to foster those creative energies for the benefit of our movement”, Yuson continued. “We are already starting to see the dynamic influence that organised young workers have had in social movements across the globe and we are looking forward to seeing an active youth movement within the BWI in the lead-up to the 2017 BWI World Congress in Durban!”
The Global Summer School is intended to be educational, but much of the focus is on encouraging the participants to share their experiences, stories and developments from their countries and regions. It is also designed to train a new generation of trade union leaders. During one notable session, participants were divided into four regional groups to visually express their ideas about the most crucial and significant political and economic developments of last 12 months. Rising threats of xenophobia, corruption, precariousness, the high rates of youth unemployment and the rising costs of housing and other necessity appeared as major common challenges for youth across the world.
The Summer School will continue throughout the week led by three labour educators and trainers consisting of William Street, former Director of the IAMAW Wood Workers Department; Carmel Abao, professor at Ateneo De Manila University, Philippines; and Dave Spooner, Director of the Global Labour Institute in Manchester.
The summer school will end on 07 July..