What does the youth union do and what are its aims?

Each union has set up an additional youth organisation – a youth union – for trainees, students, pupils and young employees. A total of around half a million young people are involved within DGB unions – and we have a lot of fun together. Not just because of our parties, but also because together we discuss claims, organise campaigns and get involved in debates with the “adults”. In order to represent our interests within and outside the union, we meet regularly, design flyers and banners, get informed at seminars and attend protests.

As a youth union, we promote:

  • education for all: all young people wanting a vocational training place should get one. There has to be a governmental solution to make businesses either train people themselves or contribute to training costs within other businesses.
  • as of January 2015, there is a minimum wage of €8,50 an hour in Germany. Unfortunately, the law allows exceptions – and we will protest against these. However, it is a good start. It goes to show that unions’ years of fighting have paid off. For the youth union, it just means we have to keep at it: get rid of exceptions and raise the minimum wage to at least €12.40. For trainees, we require higher pay during training; each and every trainee should be able to support themselves and be able to exercise their right to access a cultural and social life.
  • Stay away from the Youth Workers Protection Act: we are against plans from businesses and some areas of politics to water down this law. The Youth Workers Protection Act should be upheld and expanded.
  • An end to internships: the exploitation of interns as cheap, motivated labour must end. Internships must be clearly defined as learning experiences; they must be for a limited amount of time and come with reasonable compensation.
  • A united approach in businesses and society against discrimination and exclusion: racism and right-wing extremism have no place here.
  • For twelve-month employment after training in the trainee’s qualified career.
  • Good quality of training.
  • Upholding and improvement of legal requirements and sustainable assessment of training quality.

As a youth union, we offer you:

  • The chance to get involved: young union members meet in regional youth councils to discuss claims and prepare campaigns.
  • Education: as a member, you can make use of the youth union’s education offerings. This ranges from rhetoric seminars to educational political trips to Brussels and seminars on how to deal with exam stress.
  • Advice: if you have problems with your training, or need help with child benefit, training support contributions etc, you can turn to competent unionists for help.

The more young people that join the union cause and get involved, the better we can represent our interests. Do you want to actively contribute to your union? Then simply contact the JAV in your company. If you don’t have one, your works council can help you. You can also contact your union directly. We look forward to hearing from you!


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