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High School in Oakland Celebrates Workers’ Rights in AFGE Film Festival

The American Federation of Government Employees knows that the younger generation represents the future of America. It includes our future leaders, defenders, and workers for our democracy. As they approach their assimilation into the workforce, knowing the rights that are afforded to them are of utmost importance to protect them from exploitation.

That is what sparked the idea of visiting inner city high schools across the nation and showing them what AFGE is all about. In Oakland, Calif., an AFGE representative visited Oakland Technical High School, and demonstrated important themes of workers’ rights through three film clips.

The first clip, entitled “Workplace Democracy,” shows the crucial difference between meeting with corporate leaders and not knowing one’s rights, as opposed to being armed with information for negotiating.

Another clip, “The Janitor,” displayed how the efforts of school janitors working toward creating a clean and safe environment for students are often unappreciated and overlooked.

On a deeper level, these high school students shared their own experiences in the workforce. Some said had it not been for a union’s struggles, their family members would’ve lost their jobs. Through lively discussions and the movie clips, these students learned more about the thin line between the working class and the poor, the importance of higher education, and the necessity of having unions protect the rights of workers.

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