Rejuvenating workers' organisations to develop capacity and knowledge

From 29 November to 1 December 2018 took place in Lisbon a seminar about “Rejuvenating workers' organisations to develop capacity and knowledge”, organized by CIFOTIE (Centro Internacional de Formação dos Trabalhadores da Indústria e Energia), with the support of EZA and of the European Union. The seminar was attended by 38 representatives of workers’ organizations from Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and Lithuania.

Evaluation of the results of the Project

The rejuvenation of workers' organizations is a fundamental aspect of innovating and developing the capabilities and competencies of workers’ organizations.

With the world "shrinking" (a little more than half a century ago, a simple trip took more than 80 times nowadays, and the information is a mere click away), more and more, new skills are needed and especially the younger generations need to constantly learn new skills.

Europe and the European Union as well as its workers are increasingly in need of new strategies within their organizations in this globalized world and where a new generation of employers are using new skills with concepts of neo-liberal capitalism.

The new generations that, with new skills and competences, together with a generation of union members of "mature youngsters" can better define new strategies, be it in the Social Dialogue, as well as in the accompaniment of employees, who are increasingly not manual workers , but persons with knowledge acquired by many years of schooling and increasingly empowered, enlightened and demanding.

Consequently, this project had four objectives:

  1. The new forms of rejuvenation of trade unionists in the EU;
  2. Young people, new ideas for Trade Unionism;
  3. Young trade unionists and Social Dialogue (New ways of acting and thinking);
  4. Sustainability of Trade Unions in the EU.

The results are intended to change the "status quo" existing in trade unions in the European Union and as a way of changing were focused:

New strategies to sensitize and recruit young trade unionists

How to raise young people's awareness of the trade union world for their own benefit and for the development and a fairer and "blue" world in the workplace. Good social practices are the key to mobilizing young people and also engaging them as potential shareholders of companies so that they take part in socioeconomic decisions.

Irreverence of young trade unionists

Young people are considered irreverent because they are rebellious and do not accept or conform to something just because they must do, thus bringing to organizations a new way of being. New ways of acting and acting in the relations between workers and employers.

The new sustainability of trade unions in the EU

As a main conclusion we can point out the conflict of interests between democracy and capitalism that has returned to the stage where the "market" dictates the rules of the state. In this context, it is essential to request the interventionist force of organized civil society to defend their interests, especially through trade unions.

We conclude that the performance of trade unions is fundamental in the construction of social welfare states, a form of social development, either through claims processes or through direct and interventive participation in the social economy of companies.

We also conclude that the rejuvenation of social actors, such as unions, can be done with greater intervention by young people through new participation in trade unions and these in turn throughout the economy and not only in traditional demands.

New forms of trade unionism are increasingly pressing because the traditional has not adapted and innovated in the face of the new technological challenges of society, hence we must conclude by an effective direct participation of trade unions in the life of societies.

Development and progress of the results of the Project

Contributions to the future of organizations were developed, with the training of ideas and proposals based on the participation of young people in the organizational structure of companies, through their participation in social capital, in order to involve young people in the socioeconomic decisions of companies.

This form of participation can be sustained and organized by the Trade Unions through the creation of small shareholders' clubs.

This formula has a double advantage, with the participation of young people in companies and their trade union organizations simultaneously, since the shareholder organization of the workers must pass through the unions.

Thus, young people actively participate in the life and decisions of companies and the unions are rejuvenated in a new society by reversing the current state of death announced for the unions.