Report of the London Trades Council Youth Advisory Council to the Youth Conference
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Report of the London Trades Council Youth Advisory Council, to the Youth Conference, to be held at Denison House, 296, Vauxhall Bridge Road, Westminster, S.W.1, on Sunday, 2nd October, 1938. First Session: 11 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. Second Session: 2.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. Chairman, First Session: Mr. E. Friend, J.P. (Chairman, London Trades Council); Chairman, Second Session: Mr. Robert Willis (Secretary, London Trades Council). Past Activities. 1. Introduction. - At our conference of August, 1937, the report of the Council indicated the general objects for which the Youth Advisory Council had come into existence. These were briefly stated as the recruitment and organisation of the thousands of youth at present outside the ranks of the trades union movement, the initiation of campaigns to improve the working conditions of youth in industry, the provision of educational and sports facilities for the youth of the trades union movement, and in order to achieve these objects, recommended the formation of special youth committees in the unions, and attached to trades councils. The events during the past year more than confirm the correctness of our proposals. The movement of the young engineering apprentices for improved working conditions, the significant demonstrations of railway vanboys and youth in other industries, gave expression to the demands of this generation of youth for better working conditions. 2. Organisation. - In August, 1937, we had only two union and two local youth committees; to-day we have eight union youth councils in the engineering, furnishing, upholstering, printing, poster-writing industries, in commerce and insurance, and ten local youth advisory committees. These youth councils and committees have been extremely active in youth recruitment and organisation, and in addition have been responsible for organising educational and sports facilities for the young members of the trades unions, and have received the well-merited praise of their respective unions. We take pride in the fact that our Council has been the pioneer in this form of " New Trades Unionism." 3. Youth Charter Campaign. - We can claim a large amount of credit for the Youth Charter Campaign of the T.U. Congress, and the proposals we made, when we met Sir Walter Citrine, for the organisation of regional conferences in various parts of the country, together with the direct help and assistance of our Council, which has been given to trades councils and unions, has been largely responsible for the formation of youth councils in many towns in Great Britain. The General Council of the Trades Union Congress are to be congratulated upon initiating the Youth Charter Campaign. 4. Entry of Juveniles into Industry. - The first investigation conducted by the Council was in connection with the problems of the "entry of juveniles into industry." Several important conclusions were drawn from the investigation, which can be summarised as follows: (1) Insufficient attention has been paid by the trades union movement to the problem of the entry of juveniles into industry and the function of the Juvenile Advisory Committees. The formation of local youth advisory committees would help to remedy this situation. (2) The Juvenile Advisory Committees should have statutory recognition, with a higher percentage of trade union representation. On the question of transference, the problem required a special investigation itself, and the opinions of trades councils in the " depressed areas " would have to be obtained before any conclusions could be drawn. 5. Industrial Survey. - By the initiation of the Industrial and Commercial Survey of Greater London, we laid the basis for a new approach to the problems of union recruitment and organisation, particularly in relation to young workers. The tremendous amount of work which has gone into the organisation of our 20 local survey commissions has not been wasted, and valuable experience has been gained in conducting planned investigations. The task confronting the Survey Commission has been so enormous that it has been found necessary to reorganise it, and a summary of these proposals will be found in another section of this report. 6. May Day Demonstration. - The demonstration was one of the most successful of recent years, and we took the initiative in calling together the political, co-operative, sports and trades union organisations of the youth in a Joint Youth May Day Committee. The youth contingents were the largest and most colourful ever seen, and the march past of the youth was an impressive sight, indicative of the spirit and determination of the youth for the achievement of the Youth Charter, and the preservation of Peace and Democracy. 7. Propaganda and Recruitment. - Our propaganda has carried the message of trades unionism into factories, shops and offices. We have been responsible for the organisation of many meetings of the youth in various unions and localities, and our movement has distributed thousands of Youth Charter leaflets. We would particularly make mention of the creation of the trades union youth journal, Youth at Work, which started as a duplicated bulletin of one youth council, and is now printed and circulated on a national scale. Starting without any capital, its circulation is steadily creeping up, and its influence is growing every day.
|Archive collection||Archives of the Trades Union Congress|
|Archive folder||Spanish Rebellion - Documents 1938|
|Document title||Report of the London Trades Council Youth Advisory Council to the Youth Conference|
|Issuing organisation||London Trades Council Youth Advisory Council|
|Document date||October 1938|