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Young Workers of Jacksonville prepare for May Day

By staff

Fight for full-time jobs, $15 minimum wage and child care for working mothers

Jacksonville, FL – After joining a successful statewide event for young workers at the Florida capitol, the Young Workers of Jacksonville (YWJ) are preparing for International Workers Day on May 1. The newly formed group will host a labor-themed cookout for young workers in the city to talk about the major issues affecting them as a class.

“We're excited for young workers, both union and non-union, to get together on May Day and talk about the difficulties we're facing,” said Dave Schneider, an organizer for the YWJ and a Teamsters member. “Young people have a dismal future ahead of us full of part-time poverty jobs, low wages, crippling debt and most of us won't be able to retire until our 70s. We need to get organized and fight for our future and a good place to start is over a few burgers and beers on a day dedicated to honoring workers.”

The YWJ recently participated in the first Young Workers Day at the Florida capitol to coincide with the legislative session. On April 1, young workers groups from around the state sent members to the capitol for a press conference and a planning assembly.

The Young Workers Day drew out fast food workers, warehouse workers, teachers, migrant workers, longshoremen and other young workers from Jacksonville, Tampa, Miami and Tallahassee.

With more than 40 workers standing behind a banner that read, “The future is ours. Young Workers of Florida fight back,” speakers outlined the group's demands to the Florida legislature. These demands included raising the minimum wage, full-time jobs for young workers, expanding Medicaid in Florida, an end to wage theft by employers, fully funding public education and providing child care for working mothers. Senator Dwight Bullard from South Florida attended the press conference and expressed support for the group's demands.

Shortly after the press conference, the assembly met at the nearby Florida AFL-CIO building to discuss plans for future actions and strategies for finding new young leaders in the labor movement. Among the suggestions was holding May Day events.

The YWJ May Day cook-out will take place on May 1 at 6:00pm. The location is announced on the group's facebook page:

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