IYCW Press Release for the International Workers’ Day 2024: Let’s Call for Unity, Let's Call for Resistance!

"My name is Janrick Macinas, I'm 23 years old. I work as a porter in the fishing port in Mercedes. My employer pays me a daily wage of 200 pesos (US$4). My salary is not enough to meet the basic needs of my family. My dream is to finish my studies, but I wasn’t able to go to school, not even to finish my primary school because I need to work for my family. In my work, I am exposed to the risk of accidents. I often slip on the wet floor and I'm prone to infections and skin allergies due to certain toxic materials from the fish and the port. Recently, I was sick and not able to do heavy work. I am afraid to start my own family because I don’t know how I could provide for them.”

The analysis of the working conditions of young workers in many countries, particularly those working in factories, in the informal sector, the unemployed, students and women, shows that they continue to face situations that are worrying and dangerous for their lives and well-being. Job security is not guaranteed by the authorities, who have implemented multiple pro-capitalist policies, leading employers to treat workers arbitrarily. Many workers are deprived of basic rights such as the minimum wage, many do not benefit from social and health insurance, are liable to be fired at any time, have short employment contracts, work long hours and are subject to a system of casual daily work - all major problems still faced by today's young workers.

Poor working conditions also combine with unpredictable climate change to impact many employment sectors. Unemployment is on the rise, informal vendors are finding fewer and fewer buyers as people's purchasing power declines, farmers and fishermen are seeing their production fall due to climate change, and the selling price of what they harvest is very low. Many other employment sectors are heavily affected by public policies close to the world of finance, and by climate change caused by factory pollution that makes the weather difficult to predict. These factors affect the lives of workers in agriculture, fishing and other informal sectors.

Today, after almost 100 years of existence, the International Young Christian Workers (IYCW) remains committed to responding to the needs and realities of young workers across the globe and reaffirms its dedication to just work, equality and dignified life for all young workers by promoting, organizing and motivating young workers to fight for their rights.

Specifically, we want to end precarious work through the regulation of the work of all (precarious) workers to protect them from unfair dismissals, forced outsourced employment and inequality of conditions between permanent and temporary or precarious workers. We want work that permits freedom of association. We want governments and all employers to ensure permanent work by respecting the rights of all workers and the implementation of the law.

We want to have access to, and improvement of, the social protection system. Job opportunities should be created, and unemployment benefits provided to unemployed youth. The recognition of the informal sector is a step forward for better protection, and governments should implement policies for the informal sector based on the aspirations of workers in the informal economy.

We want equal rights, participation and opportunities for all. We want to end discrimination in any form, including in workplaces.

Let’s be the change that youth need for the future, let's take to the streets, let's call out all our demands and desires, let's claim basic rights for everyone, let's call for unity, and let's call for resistance to investors and governments who are not on the side of the workers and the poor!

Work, Justice and Equality for a Dignified Life!


Related Articles