Fired Up Young Workers Organize Our Future in Boston
Some 85 union members, community activists and students age 35 and younger took part in the 2nd Annual “Organizing Our Future” conference hosted by the Greater Boston Labor Council Futures Committee at the Boston Teachers Union Hall. The goal of the conference on Sunday was to empower, educate and connect young union members around Boston to be more knowledgeable and active in their local unions, in their communities and the Greater Boston Labor Council Futures Committee.
Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer, who came to address the young workers in Boston, said the young leaders at the conference were inspiring.
They are exactly what the AFL-CIO young worker program is all about – young leaders taking an active role in strengthening and building our unions and connecting with their broader community. I applaud them and their visionary leaders who support them.
Shuler has been a champion of the AFL-CIO Next Up Young Worker Program across the nation. She realizes the importance of training our younger members to be future leaders in order to strengthen and maintain the labor movement.
Tyrek Lee, the youngest vice president of the Massachusetts AFL-CIO, and a vice president in his own union, 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, told his union story to the young workers at ‘Organizing our Future.’
Ten years ago when I was working at Boston Medical Center, I was anti-union, but my union leadership mentored me and kept developing my leadership so that just a few short years later, I am an elected leader in our union. I am excited to be part of the Greater Boston Labor Council Futures Committee because I realize that healthcare workers cannot this fight alone. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in this movement for social and economic justice. An injury to one is an injury to all.
“As young workers, we are learning from the successes of those who came before us to build a transformative new labor movement for a 21st century economy and workforce. Young workers were inspiring each other and learning from one another –we all felt the energy building up throughout the
day. Whether it was about labor’s vision and values; political issues that affect working families; using your story to organize; or creating a flash mob; young workers are engaging with our labor movement and being developed into the leaders of the future” said Allison Doherty, chair of the Greater Boston Labor Council Futures Committee, and one of the key organizers of the conference.
Massachusetts AFL-CIO President Steve Tolman, and Greater Boston Labor Council President Lou Mandarini, and Greater Boston Labor Council Executive Secretary Treasurer Richard Rogers also addressed the young workers.