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2 July 2010

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Key speakers at Ógra youth jobs summit

ICTU, trade unions, NYCI, Labour Youth and Socialist Youth speak on Ógra Shinn Féin platform

THE Irish Congress of Trade Unions, trade union Unite, the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed, Independent Workers’ Union, the National Youth Council of Ireland, Labour Youth and Socialist Youth all sent platform speakers to Ógra Shinn Féin’s youth unemployment conference in Dublin on June 5th.
The conference, ‘No job? No future? No way!’, opened up with a discussion on ‘What is the reality for the young unemployed in 2010?’
Bríd O’Brien of the Irish National Organisation for the Unemployed set the scene for activists, during which she detailed the precarious financial situation many of the young employed find themselves in and the social impact it has on families and communities.
This was followed by a panel discussion which addressed a variety of issues relating to unemployment.
Speaking on ‘How to create jobs’ was Unite the Union’s Michael Taft, the respected economist and blogger.
In a contribution very much aimed at creating debate and challenging those present, he said the crucial thing is to create jobs and to put money into the productive economy.
“Government policies are driving down jobs, which is in turn exacerbating the economic and fiscal crisis.”
Conor O’Gorman of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions and Joe Lynch of the Independent Workers’ Union spoke on the topic of ‘How trade unions create jobs, and why we need them’.
Conor welcomed the opportunity to speak on the topic and noted that sometimes people are inclined to forget the fact the trade unions do in fact protect jobs. Both Conor and Joe noted that too few people make the connection between the way they cast their vote and the conditions in their workplace.
James Doorley of the National Youth Council of Ireland, speaking on ‘Creating a vocal lobby for the young unemployed’, outlined the work of NYCI over the last number of years.

LIVELY DEBATE

The final session involved a lively cross-party debate involving National Organiser Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire from Ógra Shinn Féin, Conor Ryan from Labour Youth, and Eddie McCabe from Socialist Youth on the issue of creating a political alternative.
Summarising the conference, ÓSF’s Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire said it was extremely interesting with a high level of debate and discussion
“I believe that we can gain a great deal from it but this conference needs to be a springboard to get out there in the communities, get active on this issue and get campaigning.
“This has to be our priority for the coming time.”

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