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No to the Exploitation of Youth Through Precarious Work!

11 August 2016
On 12 August, International Youth Day, PSI's General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli inquires: "How can we eradicate inequality and achieve sustainable consumption and production in a world where future generations have nothing ahead but insecurity?"

Jobs with a Future for Young Workers in Public Services!

No to the exploitation of Youth through Precarious Work and Outsourcing!

International Youth Day, 12 August 2016

The United Nations has designated the theme of International Youth Day 2016 as “The Road to 2030: Eradicating Poverty and Achieving Sustainable Consumption and Production”. The UN notes “the leading role of young people in ensuring poverty eradication and achieving sustainable development through sustainable consumption and production.”

Public Services International (PSI) welcomes the UN highlighting the essential role of young workers in sustainable development, but the reality of the today’s social and economic conditions undermines the potential of young workers to truly participate and contribute towards sustainable development or sustainable production.

PSI General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, says: “For the past 40 years, liberalisation, privatisation and deregulation have undermined wages, secure employment and reduced the quality of and access to public services. The financial crisis only intensified these trends.

Today's globalised world produces precarious work, rising unemployment and increasing inequality which disproportionately affect young people. The insecurities faced by young workers hinder the development of their professional and personal lives. They have few chances for decent livelihoods as far too many face a future of precarious jobs, or worse, unemployment.

How can we eradicate inequality and achieve sustainable consumption and production in a world where future generations have nothing ahead but insecurity? To build a socially just society, we require universal access to fundamental public services such as healthcare, water and education that are guaranteed and funded by a fair tax system.”

Unemployment affects up to 50% of young workers and is the main cause of social exclusion. Many young people agree to precarious and unfair working conditions rather than staying indefinitely unemployed, with long term consequences on their income and consumption. PSI would also like to highlight the negative impact of the growing use of internships as a free or very cheap labour force, and its effect on employment trends across all sectors of the economy. These precarious internships are actually replacing entry level jobs at a time when unemployment is a key problem facing young people across the globe. Internships should be paid and should not be another form of exploitation of young workers.

Trade unions have an important role to play in combating social dumping that undermines workers’ rights and ultimately leads to the loss of acquired rights. It is important to note that precarious work is also holding young workers from joining a trade union and allowing them protections afforded to union members.

At the same time, public services are being cut all over the world and health services are becoming a privilege that only permanent workers can afford. The global trend to introduce selective cash transfers for social services in combination with privatization, instead of the provision of universally accessible quality public services, contributes to a further deterioration of social cohesion.

PSI calls on all its affiliates to stand up for the rights of young workers. We cannot accept a future with worsening working and living conditions. We want inclusive and equitable societies that offer opportunities for all! There will be no sustainable production without offering stable jobs and income to the workers!


Join us online:

  • Call employers to End #precariouswork
  • Advocate for health as a fundamental right #Health4all
  • Join the network on twitter and facebook using #PSI4Youth
  • Support the global campaign against unpaid internships: http://wepayourinterns.org/

As young workers, we often undergo heavy pressure due to the numerous threats that jeopardize our future. We all have to find ways to build our lives regardless of these uncertainties. PSI Young Workers have decided to celebrate International Youth Day by calling trade unions to denounce and tackle precarious work.

You can help commemorate IYD along with all PSI Young Workers with the simple click of a button!

Join our online campaign running from 12 August to 12 September 2016:

Join us on Twitter, Facebook and/or Instagram and send a photo or a statement with the UN hashtag #Youthday or #youth2030 and call to end #precariouswork. Explain how precarious work affected your life or the life of a close friend or relative. Explain how it was an obstacle to the achievement of your goals and aspirations in life.

Organise an event or activity

One visible and interactive way to commemorate International Youth Day is by organising an event or activity in your workplace or community. Whether it’s five or 500 people, you can help celebrate the Day. Work with your union to brainstorm about the type of event you want: seminars, lectures, debates or round table discussions to promote intergenerational understanding and partnerships on the issue of how to tackle precarious work and advocate for a more stable, sustainable future for us.

Be an advocate

Another great way of commemorating International Youth Day and of helping bring about positive change is to be an advocate on the issue: speak out and take action to influence positive change. Some questions you could ask: How can we reconcile job security and flexibility? Can we guarantee stable income and consumption without stable employment? How is this relevant to our community? What can we do to reduce the impact of precarious work on individual development?

Spread the word

Not everyone has to endure precarious work nor sees this as a major source of inequity for the workers. Events and campaigns can be great ways of increasing knowledge and awareness of the issue, but sometimes just having a discussion or informal chat with your union members, friends, peers and family can be a simple yet powerful way to change their view and mobilise them on this issue.

PSI resources

PSI website: http://www.world-psi.org/en/issue/young-workers

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PSI4Youth

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSI4Youth


Please email PSIWebUpdates@world-psi.org if your union is planning any special events to mark the International Youth Day on 12 August this year, so we can promote your news and photos.


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