YWS 2016: The CLC National Young Workers’ Summit

March 9, 2016

Block D: Building young workers’ leadership (11 workshops)

So you want to be a union member? (Organizing A)

Learn the basic steps for organizing a new workplace. Get some practice on delivering the union message to non-unionized workers.

How can unions organize in the precarious economy? (Organizing B)

So now you know the steps to organize a workplace. Find out how unions are using unconventional and innovative ways to organize in our ever-changing, precarious economy.

What’s your priority? Bargaining for young workers

Do you want to make sure this generation’s priorities aren’t forgotten in your next collective agreement? Identify issues of intergenerational tension in bargaining, and how to address them.

What’s a committee good for? Building a young workers’ committee that does stuff

Learn how to organize a young workers’ committee, define your purpose, get members to join, and make a plan for action.

RAPtivism: Creative solidarity through song

Maybe you’re not the artsiest kid on the block, but everyone has a little music inside of them. Let it out while learning the importance of art in activism, and writing a rap that shares an important message.

Privilege in the boardroom: Running inclusive meetings and gatherings

Gender, class, race, culture, and age play big into the power dynamics we experience every day. Learn strategies to be an ally, and make sure marginalized voices are heard in your union.

Aging Out: Practical mentorship to build an even younger generation of activists

“Aging out” is a great opportunity for us to grow the movement. Learn strategies to find and mobilize younger activists.

Unions 101: What do unions and the labour movement do anyway?

If this is your first major union event, this workshop is for you. Learn labour movement basics, what unions do, and why it’s important for young workers to be involved.

Bright Young Fanatics: Taking care of your mental health as a labour activist

It seems like there’s a lot of work, and never enough people to do it. It’s easy to take on too much and burn out. Learn strategies for self-care and a sustainable life of activism.

Beyond Youth Tokenism: What does a youthful labour movement look like?

How do we grow young workers’ participation in unions beyond young workers’ committees? This workshop will share best practices.

More Diverse Than Ever: Building an inclusive labour movement

Young Canadians are the most diverse and pluralist generation in our history. How do we make sure that our unions reflect that diversity, and how do we build coalitions with organizations and movements where young people are already engaged?


Block E: Communication for Movement Building (9 workshops)

Talk back! How to effectively call it out when you see injustice

Wondering how to intervene effectively when you see something happen at work or in your community? Learn how to call out bad behaviour like sexism and racism, and refuse unsafe work like a pro.

Get On Board: How to bring others with you

New and young workers often feel particularly disconnected from their union. You’ll leave this workshop with new strategies for empowering other young workers and getting them active in our movement.

Master of Toast: Public Speaking for conventions and meetings

So you have to speak at the mic with only a couple of minutes to prep. What do you do? Explore skills for speaking like a champ on short-to-no notice.

BYOPhone: Video Storytelling for Activists    

If you have a smartphone in your pocket, you’re carrying a powerful video camera and story-telling machine. Learn some quick video theory, and how to build a short narrative that tells your story through video platforms like Instagram and Vine.

#WinningThanksgiving: Call out your conservative uncle’s anti-union rhetoric  

The holidays have come around again, and you’ve heard one too many of your conservative relative’s anti-union comments. Learn common anti-union arguments and how to effectively rebut them in time for dessert.

Post, Tweet, Share: Facebook & Twitter basics for activists (Social Media A)    

If you haven’t hopped on the social media train yet, this introductory level workshop will orient you to Facebook and Twitter basics and help you start building an online network of other young union members. Also discuss safety online, and what not to post.

Grassroots 2.0: Using social media like an organizer (Social Media B)    

Social media is a strategy and tool that has defined our generation. Learn how to pull people up the digital ladder of engagement, and how that translates into real action. Discuss strategies for creating safer online communities.

Re-purpose With Purpose! Writing useful content that you can use on the right platform   

Writing concisely can be hard, but once you’ve got it down on paper, you can re-purpose it for all kinds of things! Learn basic research, fact-checking, and content strategy to promote your issues at the right time and place.

Be It Resolved: How to get maximum impact on your motion or resolution    

Have an issue you’re bringing to your convention floor? Learn how to write a strong resolution in clear language, as well as the formal and informal processes to get your resolution heard.


Block F: Political Action (8 workshops)

Campaigns for Change: Putting together a campaign on issues that matter to you. (Campaigns A)    

Learn basic campaign strategies, goal setting, tactics, tips & tricks, and more.

Creative Campaigns: Knock your campaigns up a notch! (Campaigns B)    

Make sure your campaigns have maximum impact. Learn from seasoned campaigners who have done hard-hitting campaigns with a creative edge. Bam!

Your Rights on the Left: The law and your right to protest  

What are your rights when you’re protesting in a public space, occupying an office, picketing an employer, or organizing a rally? Learn about your rights when you’re putting your body on the line.

Directly Radical: Direct action & civil resistance to disrupt the norm

Learn about the principles of non-violent direct action, when it is necessary, and tactics for success. Also examine why activists engage in diverse “levels” of direct action.

Me, president? Run for your union executive or for office  

Democracy is a beautiful thing. Examine why it’s important to have young workers running for leadership positions, why you might be interested in running, and practical campaign steps to start you off.

The Political Workplace: Organizing in your workplace for elections   

Ever heard the saying that “everything is political”?  Municipal, provincial, and federal politics have a big impact on unions and young workers. Build skills to talk politics in your workplace and mobilize your co-workers to get involved in the political process.

Speak Truth to Power: Getting Young Workers Issues on the Political Agenda    

No one knows young workers’ issues better than you do! So who better to carry the message than young workers ourselves? Learn a spectrum of strategies for engaging with politicians, from a quick tweet to a formal lobby.

One Million Climate Jobs: How to lobby provincial and municipal politicians like a pro 

What’s the worker-friendly line on a “just transition” to a greener economy? Which politicians make a difference? Learn how to lobby on this agenda, and how unions can use our power to respond to the climate crisis.