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Young Workers...What's on Our Policy Agenda?

Follow the conversations on Twitter: #YEPF

Workers under the age of 34 face higher unemployment rates than older workers and make up nearly half of the currently unemployed. As student debt continues to build up—exceeding even credit card debt—and wages stagnate or fall for workers with or without a college degree, young workers are accruing less wealth than their parents—perhaps the first time in U.S. history when a generation has failed to do better than its parents. Young workers struggle to find work and often take jobs that are below their education and skill level or bounce from contract to unpaid internship to temp job without the stability of a full-time regular job but with all the long hours and hard work.

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Here's What You Said: 2012 Presidential Debate

Romney's plan to balance the budget is to cut Big Bird's funding.

We learned a lot of things about Mitt Romney during last night's debate. Not only does he want to continue the failed economic policies that brought on the recession in the first place, but he also wants to hand our feathered friend Big Bird the pink slip to continue tax breaks for the wealthiest people (the math doesn't add up). The candidates talked a lot about taxes, education and social insurance programs, but what we really enjoyed about the debates last night was listening to working people on Twitter and on our AFL-CIO Now blog's live chat

Read the entire live chat thread below and check out some of the top comments and insights from our readers:


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Minnesota: Young Workers Showing New Ways to Lead

Minnesota AFL-CIO Young Workers Convention was held last Sunday.

This is a cross-post from Workday Minnesota. 

No one would blame Nicholas Perez and Cheri Stewart if they decided the problems facing their generation are just too big to tackle.

After all, unemployment among 16- to 24-year-olds stands at more than 17% and is even higher for young people of color. Many college graduates are burdened with tens of thousands of dollars of debt. Older workers often stereotype the millennial generation as self-absorbed and “lacking a work ethic.”

Perez, Mitchell and some 20 other young workers who participated in the Minnesota AFL-CIO’s Young Workers Convention on Sunday have experienced it. They’re not throwing up their hands, however—they’re organizing. Many are finding new ways to lead within their unions.

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Here’s to the Future of the Labor Movement

AFL-CIO welcome 62 young union members this weekend for the 2012 Young Workers Leadership Summit.

If Julie Garrett wasn’t in her union, she says she would be working a minimum wage job with no benefits, barely able to support her 4-year-old daughter.

Young people need to know what we’re facing…corporations are taking over and workers are losing out. If we didn’t have unions, we’d all be working for minimum wage, or much lower.

Garrett, 35, a member of the Federation of Social Workers (IUE-CWA) Local 81381 in Rochester, N.Y., and an employee in the Monroe County Department of Social Work, is one of 62 young labor leaders who traveled all over the United States to convene at the AFL-CIO headquarters in Washington, D.C., for the first Young Worker Leadership Institute this weekend. 

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Trumka Joins Working Ohioans to Get Out the Vote Against Issue 2

Deborah Dion with the Ohio AFL-CIO field program sends us this.

Speaking at a Cleveland rally on the eve of Nov. 8, Election Day, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka brought down the house yesterday when he spoke passionately about why we must join together and beat back Issue 2/ S.B. 5. More than 500 union volunteers from 30 different local unions as well as community activists and Columbia University students from New York City rose to their feet repeatedly cheering before hitting the doors to canvass city neighborhoods  to spread the message about voting “No” vote on Issue 2/S.B. 5.

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