They were everywhere. Teaching workshops. Taking to the streets. Up on stage. Besides being one of the largest delegations to the AFL-CIO Young Worker Summit in Chicago last week, AFGE members and staff were active participants and key contributors to the AFL-CIO’s largest gathering of young workers in the federation’s history.
Jennifer Green, AFGE YOUNG secretary, represented AFGE on the council during the summit.
Crystal Griffin, AFGE YOUNG coordinator at DoD Local 1345 at Ft. Carlson and general chair of Colorado Young Workers, taught a workshop on how to recruit young workers into the labor movement.
Francis Nichols, AFGE YOUNG coordinator for AFGE Local 1456, was one of the volunteers who led the chants for the Fight for 15 rally with over 500 young union activists in front of a local McDonalds and grocery store, Food for Less.
Caniesha Seldon, program specialist at AFGE’s Women’s and Fair Practices Departments, co-moderated a plenary session in which leaders of the labor movement discussed how they encouraged young workers to get involved, what they learned from them, what they should do when facing obstacles, among other topics. Caniesha led regional/state-based workshops and also taught a workshop on how to avoid miscommunication among friends, colleagues, and bosses.
Jorae Williams, AFGE’s Women’s and Fair Practices program coordinator, facilitated a panel discussion on voting rights.
AFGE was touted as one of the unions that encourage participation of younger workers through a program especially designed for young workers.
“I’m so amazingly proud of the work AFGE has done,” AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler told the AFGE delegation. Shuler – the youngest person ever to get elected secretary treasurer of the AFL-CIO – is the driving force and inspiration behind the Next Up young worker program. She helped create it in 2009, and it has steadily grown ever since.