YOUNG people in the workplace are less likely to join trade unions that their older peers, as they are unaware of the importance of these bodies, warned trade unionist Akins Vidale.
He was, on Wednesday, chairing a labour conference on Universal Social Protection held at Cipriani Labour College, Valsayn, where he teaches labour history.
The event was hosted by the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) and the college’s Elma Francois Institute for Research and Debate.
Vidale said that just before emancipation in 1838, enslaved people had paid very close attention to their condition at all times including the status of legislation in the British Parliament.
Drawing a contrast between the past and present, he said, “It is odd today that we are less concerned about our business.”
Warning of possible dire consequences to the labour movement, he said, “Someone else will do it for us.
Someone else will teach our children that trade unions are a waste of time.”
Vidale said that beyond holding negotiations with employers, unions have a role to develop their members, to increase the unions’ appeal.