Second Phase of 2012 Youth Internship Program focuses on building members’ strength in the retail industry
Youth activists from UFCW Canada Local Unions across the country recently met in Winnipeg for the second phase of the 2012 Youth Internship Program, which focused on building strength in the retail industry, and followed Phase One where the group met in the Western Region and Ontario.
From November 13 to 27, the youth activists focused on the essential role that UFCW and the collective bargaining process plays in creating good retail jobs, and they further developed their ability to help workers by taking an active role in the Organization United for Respect.
The Organization United for Respect, or OUR, is the groundbreaking new campaign by and for workers at Sobeys, and Sobeys banners like FreshCo, Price Chopper, IGA, and Thrifty Foods.
“It is very eye opening and very motivating to make a difference for our fellow workers and our communities," says UFCW Canada Local 1518 activist and YIP participant Carmen Olson.
This year’s YIP activists also focused on the importance of political action, and as part of program met with Kevin Chief, the NDP Member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly for Point Douglas, who focused on the importance of inspiring the poor and working poor to take a very active role in the political process.
Bill Fowlie of Local 1000A says, “Kevin has a lot of heart and passion and he is definitely there for the people regardless of their ethnic or financial backgrounds. The YIP experience has really strengthened my resolve to do everything I can as a UFCW Canada activist to make a difference in my workplace and my community.”
Providing youth activists with valuable field experiences and the insights of the country’s leading social justice voices is the hallmark of the UFCW Canada Youth Internship Program, and one of the reasons why it is widely seen as a model for youth engagement and progressive leadership development.
“This is really inspiring to see how youth from across Canada can come together with the same views, and the same desire to help people," says Local 401 youth activist Eleise Chapdelaine.