Front Row (L-R): Bianca Petrie, Nicole LeBlanc, Nathalie Richard, Cynthia Despres, Jodie Murray, Shaun Fleming, Kyle Hainge, Dustin Greenwood, Adam Messervey
Back Row (L-R): Brent Bizeau, Daniel O’Neil, Christopher Hillock, Felicia Demeau, Tyrell Slawter, Adam Everett, Karsen Hardy, Ryan Gallant, Michael Buchanan, Enver Harbans (Facilitator)
June 17, 2013 – Youth activists from UFCW Canada Locals 1288P and 864 recently gathered in Moncton, New Brunswick to participate in the official launch of this year’s UFCW Canada Youth Internship Program – the country’s leading youth leadership and activism program.
During the opening sessions, young members from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and PEI critically focused on the crucial role of an organized, unified and progressive labour movement in advancing and protecting human rights and social justice.
Participants were unanimous in their praise of a youth focused training session that tackled local and global issues in fun, concise and easy to understand ways. Whether discussing income inequality, the dismantling of workers’ legislative protections or the role of shop stewards, participants eagerly discussed, debated and challenged each other to envision a world based on solidarity, cooperation and respect, the core principles of our great union and the labour movement.
Sister Nathalie Richard from Local 1288P working at La Cooperative de Rogersville says, “this session made me realize how important UFCW Canada really is. I’m going to get more involved, I’m definitely going to ask more questions at work. After this conference it’s clear that if it wasn’t for the Union we wouldn’t be protected, employers would do anything they want.”
Adding to Sister Richard’s comments is Brother Tyrell Slawter from Halifax, who says, “The information taught to us is definitely worthwhile. It has inspired me to make a difference at my workplace and in my community. If we are organized as workers, nothing can stop us!”
This is just the beginning of what the Youth Internship Program has in store this summer with stops in Ontario, Manitoba and BC. Registration is nearly at capacity for each region but if young members from any of the upcoming regions are interested they are encouraged to contact their Local Union presidents for details.