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Young labor leaders come together to YELL Wednesday

By Kamaria Hightower
The Stand

With so many issues affecting younger workers, we have to find new ways to develop and engage the next generation of leadership.

In May 2011, the Washington State Labor Education and Research Center had its first Emerging Leaders Conference.  Young people from community organizations and labor unions, as well as student activists, gathered to learn and discuss what it takes to become the next generation of leaders.

Washington Young Emerging Labor Leaders (YELL) was born from this event, an organization to bring these prospective leaders together, to build coalitions, and to work on the issues that affect younger workers across the board.

AND YOU’RE INVITED to our first event, an introduction to the labor community. The Washington YELL Happy Hour will be held Wednesday, Aug. 3 from 6 to 9 p.m. at Maxie’s at the Sea Tac DoubleTree. We will talk to you about what we are planning over the next several months, and host tables with info on campaigns, public policy, fundraising and the constituency groups of the AFL-CIO.

And oh yeah, IT’S FREE!

Younger workers are at the forefront of technology, we speak to each other in new and innovative ways and we’re getting primed and ready. Communicating to and energizing our demographic is our niche but we want to hear from YOU. Because although our focus is on the development of the younger worker we know there are many issues that affect us all. It’s not lost on us that Alliance for Retired Americans members are fighting right now about Social Security issues that will affect us — not them.  YELL will be there.

Members of UNITE HERE are fighting for a good, fair contract with hotels across the region including the Hilton hotels, Westin, Edgewater and the Washington Athletic Club. YELL will be there, on the picket lines with them.

Giving employees paid sick days is a public health issue that for too long has been ignored by employers with workers who do not have a union contract. We’ll raise our voices in support of this important legislation at Seattle City Hall, too.

We know that battles worth winning are long fought. We have the energy, the optimism, and the endurance. We are YELL. Come out and mingle, hear from us.

Kamaria Hightower is the Executive Assistant to the Secretary-Treasurer for the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!