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Young Workers

Our main objectives are to educate young workers about the labour movement as a whole; engage, mobilize and retain young workers; and raise awareness on a series of issues that young workers face today. The age limit is 35 (inclusive).


Kenny Kashirahamwe, Co-Chair:  gashkenny@hotmail.com

Tara Shapransky, Co-Chair: tara.shap.87@gmail.com

Alexandra Vantyghem, Secretary:   alexandra.vantyghem9@gmail.com

Chris Waltenbury, Treasurer:  cwlocal70013@gmail.com

Tara Shapransky, Communications Officer: tara.shap.87@gmail.com

Enquiries: YWC_CJT@psac-afpc.com



The PSAC is experiencing rapid growth of young worker interest across the country, and the National Capital Region is no exception. The recent wave of interest began with the May 2011 Young Workers Conference, where young members in the region were actively recruited over the preceding months to take part in its planning. This was followed in June with the first ever youth caucus at the NCR regional convention, and the election of a young worker to the executive of the NCR Regional Council.

In September, the Young Workers Committee (YWC) held its inaugural meeting and in December, elections were held for various positions. That same month, 18 young workers also took part in a special Talking Union Basics course that was tailored specifically to their interests. The newly elected YWC co-chair, Gabriel Bourdon, spoke to course participants and invited them to join the YWC, which many did.

NCR organizer Adrian Dumitru, who has provided staff support to the regional young worker movement over this period, observes: “The involvement of young workers is both a necessary step toward ensuring strong leadership in the future and a key ingredient for union renewal now.” 

Even while busy setting up its own administrative foundation over the last few months, the YWC has still managed to engage on various issues. The other newly elected co-chair of the YWC, André Poliquin, was instrumental in presenting resolutions at regional council in support of Occupy Ottawa in the fall of 2011, and the Committee is now planning activities in support of striking members at the Salvation Army's Booth Centre in downtown Ottawa. Says Poliquin: “It is very inspiring to have so many young workers come together so quickly. Over the coming period, you'll see us taking a very visible role in solidarity with both PSAC and non-unionized workers in the region.”

As part of its communications and outreach approach, the YWC has established an online presence on TwitterFacebook and Youtube, on which it has launched a new video. The video is intended to set a fresh tone to the PSAC's renewed regional young workers movement. Written by Bourdon and two other young workers - Sophie Tremblay Morissette and Francis Chartrand - the short video's message is clear: “This is a time of change. Let's make it ours!”


December 17, 2011 - 3:15pm •


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