All workers have to start somewhere, and for many, that is having a first job in either the fast food or retail sectors.
Young workers work in fast paced, high demand and casualised workplaces across the country. Outdated awards and bargaining agreements are exploited by employers from local stores to international fast food chains, enabling them to hire us at outrageous hourly rates.
As young workers, we are often the targets of unfair workplace practices and standards. There is a widely held belief that young labour is lesser labour. This often leads to disproportionate levels of harassment, wage theft and assault against young workers. Many young people have no choice but have to support themselves and their family through their employment.
Fast Food and Retail has survived off exploiting the cheap labour of young workers, where the conditions of their employment remain largely out of their control.
The Young Workers Caucus believes that:
– Young workers are systematically taken advantage of by employers
– The wages of Young workers have suffered from unfair awards and agreements.
We, as young people, intend to amplify the voices of other youth, standing up and supporting social movements that affect us. Young people are disproportionately affected by harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex, race, gender & class. We acknowledge the urgent threat of climate change and the large role that industries can play. We advocate for more substantial policy to keep companies accountable.
The YWC prides itself on upholding the rights of young people like us, by advocating for structural change within our workplaces, by educating young people about their rights at work and encouraging young workers to stand up to workplace injustice. We commit ourselves to upholding young voices by forming strong connections with each other to organise workplace campaigns on the issues faced by young workers.
Our Unity is Our Strength, Our Advocacy is Our Cause.