The great interest of young trade union activists made Čanj a host for over 50 young trade union leaders from Montenegro, Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, Greece, Turkiye and Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Starting on September 15, and based on a jointly developed curriculum for non-formal education of trade union activists, participants learned about the basics of trade unionism, the role and importance of trade unions, the necessity of adequate protection of labor and all other social rights, with a focus on the need of strengthening youth sections and creating a new generation of young trade union leaders who will act as motivators, educators and role models for other members of the unions involved.
“Since its formation, the trade union has been an important link of civil society and an equal partner in social dialogue, today being perceived as a structure in which membership ensures purchase in installments. This is the image we want to change and to show that the trade union is actually an important channel to clearly articulate the needs and priorities of young people, and a tool to put them higher on the community’s agenda. We are especially pleased that we managed to gather activists from 7 countries, clearly showing that the desire of all of us is to restore the reputation of the trade unions and show that the young generation of activists has a lot to offer to the society”, said Bojan Tripunovski, secretary general of the UPOZ trade union from Macedonia, also one of the co-organizers of the Trade Union Academy.
In the role of co-organizer of the meeting, the same was attended by Anastasija Nenadović on behalf of Development Center for Youth, emphasizing the satisfaction that the association could contribute to the creation of a quality program and interesting and dynamic content for young trade union activists.
Through short theoretical inputs, but above all a trade union fair, dynamic work in small groups, exchange of knowledge and experiences, panel discussions and case study analyses, young people gained valuable knowledge about trade union activism as a special category of youth participation in important processes, but also skills essential for life in general – communication, presentation, social, organizational and a number of others.
As everything takes place in the context of non-formal education, which many activists have met for the first time, it should not be surprising that the partnership which implements the project activities includes the actors from the trade union, youth and educational sector.
Formal organizers of the meeting – the association AER from Montenegro, Development Center for Youth from Serbia and SCEO from Macedonia, stand side by side with the trade unions of the administration and judiciary from the countries involved, with the intention that in the future this concept will turn into a traditional educational activity and include other interested youth.
In addition to the working part, those present had the opportunity to enjoy the rich cultural and touristic program that included a tour of Bar, creating unbreakable bonds for further joint activities in the continuation of the process, as well as future international cooperation.
Upon completion of the educational part of the process, involved young activists are expected to jointly create the campaign “Trade Unions are IN – involve, influence, act”, as well as local actions aimed at further transfer of knowledge and information to colleagues from the immediate environment.
The project is implemented with the co-financing of the European Commission through the ERASMUS+ program, key action 3 – European Youth Together and the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.