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23 June 2017

Bulgarian and Latvian unions educate future workers on their rights

Trade unions across Europe are looking for new ways to approach young people. Labour organisations in Bulgaria and Latvia have been particularly innovative in this respect: they used non-standard communication channels to raise future workers’ awareness of their rights as employees and acquaint them with union activities.

Between 2011 and 2013, the Bulgarian union confederation CITUB and the Union of Bulgarian Teachers ran a training scheme ‘My First Job’. It aimed at improving their knowledge on their employment-related rights and raising their awareness of trade union work in Bulgaria. Over 2,000 teachers in 280 settlements across the country were trained on labour, social and social security topics, and subsequently passed this knowledge to 117,983 pupils. Training materials for students and teachers, together with information leaflets were made available online [GD1] .

 

From 2007 onwards, the Latvian union confederation LBAS has been organising knowledge contests on social rights and occupational health and safety (OSH) standards. The first scheme, ‘A Pro’ targeted vocational schools, whereas the second one, ‘Smart. Game for those who learn’, involved secondary school pupils. The contests were supported by several ministries and the country’s labour inspectorate; they also received wide media coverage, with regional semi-finals and finals transmitted on Latvian television. In 2015, in the capital city of Riga alone 35 per cent of secondary schools participated in the scheme, which shows that such non-standard ways of popularising knowledge on labour rights might resonate well with the young generation. This autumn a new edition of ‘A Pro’ will be organised with the support of EU funds.

 

 

Further reading:

 

Tomev L., ‘Innovative trade union practices in Bulgaria: a remedy for falling union membership and declining institutional power?’, in M. Bernaciak and M. Kahancová, Innovative union practices in Central-Eastern Europe, ETUI, 2017

 

Romele L., ‘From politics to schools: innovative union practices in Latvia’, in M. Bernaciak and M. Kahancová, Innovative union practices in Central-Eastern Europe, ETUI, 2017

  [GD1]This domain name expired on 2017-06-22

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