Nearly 300 young activists and students came to Washington, D.C., last week for the A Better Deal 2009 conference, and AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler was on hand to let these young people know that the labor movement is here to fight for them.
Sponsored by Demos and an array of youth and progressive organizations, A Better Deal 2009 looked at jobs, debt, education, health care and other issues facing young people in a challenging economy. The Electrical Workers (IBEW) were there as well and have a great new video on the conference and young people’s concerns about building a strong economic future.
Here’s what Shuler has to say on the need to make the union movement accessible, relevant and attentive to the next generation:
I think now is the perfect time to reach out to young people, because of the economic devastation that we’ve been experiencing. I think young people have been disproportionately affected, and we need to connect the dots for them and make sure they know that the labor movement is the best answer to their economic troubles.
They have in their minds that the labor movement is something their grandparents were involved in, but we have a lot to offer young people today, and we just need to educate them.
To hear more from young people who attended the Demos conference, check out the IBEW at Daily Kos.