The labor movement has a historic opportunity in 2022.
We have in our power to take the positive energy that has been building in the past two years around organized labor and use it to organize new members and negotiate strong contracts like never before. But in order to seize this moment, we will need the participation of young workers.
Carry the news
The UFCW is the largest private-sector labor union in North America. It also has the youngest membership.
Forty percent of us are under 30 — that’s about 450,000 people who work in supermarkets, drug stores, food processing plants, medical facilities, offices and other worksites in the United States and Canada.
It’s easy to see why the UFCW has such a young membership. Many of the jobs created in the past decade are in the retail, food service, and healthcare sectors.
It’s a fact that our union’s members who work in these fields consistently earn better wages and benefits than their non-union counterparts. What’s more, we represent industries with jobs that cannot be sent overseas. All this means that a union job remains the best opportunity out there for a young person on the lookout for a good, middle-class career.
Charting a course
Young workers can see the difference a union makes in their lives. That’s why study after study in recent years has shown growing approval of unions among workers, especially among young people.
It’s crucial for young workers who understand the benefits of a union contract to spread the word and plant the seeds for future organizing opportunities.
While our union is growing through organizing, we must at the same time engage the young people who are already part of Local 152 and urge them to get more involved in their union. The more young members appreciate the union difference, the greater the strength we’ll have at the bargaining table, now and in the future.
A union is, by nature, a place where working people of all ages, races, religions, ethnicities and social backgrounds can work together to build a better future for all.
Through unity, we can accomplish great things in 2022 and beyond.
Young, old and in between, we’re all in this together.
— President Brian String