The AFL-CIO’s Next Up Young Workers Summit was a truly inspiring and exciting weekend! As a college student coming off of my summer with UNITE HERE Local 11 in Los Angeles, it was wonderful to once again be surrounded by people extremely passionate about the labor movement, workers’ rights and economic justice issues. Between the workshops, networking, story sharing and exploring downtown Minneapolis there was little time for thinking about anything other than the changes we need to make so that there is justice for the hardworking people who make this country run.
By far, my favorite part of the conference was being a part of the UNITE HERE delegation. The other OBBs, UNITE HERE staff and UNITE HERE workers weren’t afraid to ask the tough questions and take the lead in workshops, at the microphone and during the actions. This showed me that UNITE HERE is the union leading the way in the national labor movement. UNITE HERE workers and organizers are doing the hard, on the ground, day-to-day organizing it takes to build, strengthen, and expand the movement. And many of those people doing that important work are the young ones I met at the conference.
The conference left me excited and ready to share what I learned with others who might not know much about the labor movement. I’m inspired to maintain the connections I made and the momentum I gained to pursue economic justice campaigns both on and off campus.
Young worker leaders are changing this country for the better. Get ready because they are revitalizing and reenergizing the labor movement!
-Josephine, 2011 Summer Organizer