Ignite Youth Conference sparks new generation of union activism


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Alliston, Ont. — June 21, 2016 – Young UFCW Canada members and community activists from across the country recently converged in Alliston, Ontario for the UFCW Canada Ignite Youth Conference, where young member-activists had the opportunity to voice their opinions and spark new ideas to help strengthen Canada’s leading and most progressive union.

The group of young workers participated in a variety of workshops and discussions exploring the realities that Canadian youth are facing today, and some of the actions that young workers can take to create positive change in their workplaces and communities. Members also shared their thoughts on the Ontario session of the UFCW Canada Young Workers Internship Program, which preceded the event.

At the conference, young members had the chance to hear from a number of guest speakers, including UFCW Canada National President Paul Meinema, Special Assistant to the National President Mark Hennessy, Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) Young Workers Representative Amy Huziak, and UFCW Canada National Representatives Kevin Shimmin, Pablo Godoy, Michael Hurley, and Zenee Maceda.

Conference-goers also heard from member and community activists Geneviève Grenier, Maxime Sabourin, Noah Mogesse, and Rose Davies, who spoke about the exciting work that’s being done to engage students and young workers in politics, union activism, and social justice campaigns throughout the country.

As well, participants at the conference used a variety of social media platforms to convey and share their ideas. Their combined efforts helped make the 2016 Ignite Youth Conference one of the most talked about and buzzworthy events that UFCW Canada has ever held.   

"Young workers are the backbone and heart of UFCW Canada, and I’m always amazed to see how actively engaged our generation can be when we work together,” said UFCW Canada National Representative and Young Workers Internship Coordinator Pablo Godoy, who organized the conference. "The actions and ideas that this courageous group of young workers came up with over the weekend show that they are not just the future – they are the now – and they have a real opportunity to shape our country into one that works for us all."

For conference photos, videos, and more, follow UFCW Canada on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. You can also follow the UFCW Canada Young Workers Internship Program on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook