Cardiff MP backs young workers’ campaign

Jo Stevens MP

Jo Stevens has backed demands from UNISON Cymru Wales’ Young Members’ group that will make a real difference to young people’s quality of life.

The MP for Cardiff Central will sign UNISON’s award-winning #RespectYourYouth Charter at a gig this evening (Friday) for young workers in Cardiff’s Ten Feet Tall.

The Charter highlights the fact that young workers are disproportionately hit by the UK Government’s austerity policies and says a combination of increased university tuition fees, unemployment, poorer job opportunities, lower pay and rapid house price inflation is deteriorating young people’s prospects.

In five key demands, UNISON Young Members in Wales have called for the implementation of the Real Living Wage irrespective of age, decent apprenticeships, fair employment, workplace equality and increased training opportunities.

At UNISON’s invitation, rising star, Welsh singer Nia Wyn will play tonight in support of the union’s campaign to give young Welsh workers a better start in life. She has won a great deal of praise in the music press for her raw, bluesy vocals.

Martyn Davies, Chair of UNISON Cymru Wales’ Young Members Forum said:

“Wales has one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in the UK and many apprenticeships that do not offer real training or a progression route. Meanwhile university tuition fees continue to rise while financial support such as grants have been withdrawn from many students. Add this to the increasing use of zero hour contracts and a “living wage” that pays younger people less than their older colleagues. This represents a poor deal for young people.

“Our #RespectYourYouth charter addresses these with its five key demands; pay the real living for all, quality apprenticeships, fair employment, equality in the workplace, and real development and training opportunities. We thank Jo Stevens MP for signing our charter and we hope employers across Wales will follow soon.”

Jo Stevens MP said:

“Young people in Wales starting work or uni face a lean time of things. We cannot afford to fail young people and we have to do as much as we can to improve their standard of living. UNISON’s #RespectYourYouth charter is a great campaigning tool to take to employers. I encourage other politicians and organisations to sign up.”

Notes for editors

  • UNISON Cymru/Wales #RespectYourYouth Charter can be found here
  • A video on UNISON Cymru Wales Young Members’ work can be found here
  • UNISON’s Nia Wyn gig is on Friday 30 November, 7.30pm at Ten Feet Tall, Church Street, CF10 1BG
  • The UNISON #RespectYourYouth campaign won the prestigious UK-wide TUC organising award, presented by TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady at a ceremony in London in March 2018. The campaign has also been recognised by UNISON at a UK-national level.


Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 53 83 97