Friday, January 28, 2011

Young workers, it's up to you

Jobs are scarce and young workers are struggling more than most of us, writes Cory McCray, president of the Young Trade Unionists in Baltimore, Md. He's no whiner, though. McCray says young workers are the ones who will have to stand up, take responsibility and fix the mess their parents made.

Watch the YTU's video or go to their Facebook page. You'll see there's hope for labor.

McCray recently wrote a terrific column, "The plight of young workers in a struggling economy," in which he asks,
...have we really taken the time to understand what the future may hold for the Young Worker - whose unemployment rate has been stated to linger around 20%?
The statistics are frightening: Jobless rates for young men are rising: 20.5 percent for young men, 33.4 percent amont young African-Americans and 21.6 percent for young Asian-Americans. Jobless rates for young women are high and hardly changed: 17.5 percent for young women, 16.2 percent for young Caucasians and 22.1 percent for young Hispanics.  Writes McCray:
For the Young Worker that’s found some type of employment in this bad job market, research shows they’re earning 17.5% less than their counterparts in a good economy.

Research also shows this can have an adverse impact on Young Workers for an amazing seventeen years of their life!
As we deal with underemployment and less benefits than our parents’ generation, we’re at a point in time where businesses are demonizing pensions to institute a new program that I call: “Save your own retirement - 401K slaves.”
The point I’m trying to make is that it is heartbreaking to see my young friends and their families having to deal with this epidemic that is out of our control.
McCray urges young workers to buy American, get trained or educated and fight for the things their parents gave up (like pensions and living wages.) He writes

Young Workers - I challenge you not to fall into a trap and relax - like previous generations have - but to survive, learn and fight such as those who lived through the Great Depression.

We have the power to enact change and stimulate this great country we call America!
Let's hope he's right.