|ITF Organizing Globally Coordinator and Youth Officer Ingo Marowsky addresses students from 24 countries who took part in the 2013 ITF Young Workers Summer School hosted by the IAM at the William W. Winpisinger Education and Technology Center in Southern Maryland.|
The IAM’s William W. Winpisinger (WWW) Education and Technology Center recently played host to 40 future labor leaders from 24 countries. As shown in a new Machinist News Network video, the young unionists came together to plant the seeds for future global solidarity as part of the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) Young Workers Summer School.
The program focused on giving young labor activists a wide array of training to build and strengthen unions. Participants learned about the causes of the international financial crisis, power relationships in the global economy, how to build alliances beyond the workplace and ways to combat the common challenge of fear among younger workers when trying to organize.
“We cover different topics of interest, in particular for young workers, like precarious employment,” said ITF Organizing Globally Coordinator and Youth Officer Ingo Marowsky. “But also we went deep into economics, organizing and organizing methodologies to build young workers in strong unions and to use them and work with them to strengthen our movement.”
The ITF is a global federation of more than 700 transportation unions in 150 countries that represent nearly five million workers. The ITF Summer School gives young workers an invaluable opportunity to learn from colleagues in other countries and the opportunity to build a direct relationship with other young activists for future international solidarity and action. Now in its 14th year, the school has reached over 500 participants from all transport sectors.
Participants say the summer school helped them realize they have more in common than just their craft, and the importance of working together across the globe.
“We are all the same,” said unionist Maher Barakat of Lebanon. “We are all human beings. The governing mentality around the world is the same. They have that greed for money and they would do anything to get in the way of labor.”
“One or two people can create a resolution to an issue,” said Melissa Brennan of IAM Local 2339N. “But 30 to 40 people in a room can create the next future for all of us.”
“We’re proud that we could host this important summit,” said IAM Transportation General Vice President Sito Pantoja. “Today’s young activists are tomorrow’s leaders, and we must all work together to ensure future workers around the world have jobs with dignity.”
For more, watch “Labor’s Fountain of Youth.”