Next Gen Committee Aims to Reboot & Recruit

Local 8888’s Next Generation Committee is active again. It is the platform for young activists in the shipyard to connect with each other and to get more involved in union activities. The timing of the Next Gen’s reboot is significant because change is coming in the shipyard.

Last year Local 8888 celebrated its 40th anniversary. The occasion highlighted the fact that more than 600 members are nearing retirement age. At the same time, nearly 60 percent of the membership has less than 10 years of service – and half were not even born when Local 8888 received its charter from the United Steelworkers in 1978.

Next Gen members have an opportunity to take on greater roles in the local union. Recently, a group of Next Gen members represented Local 8888 during Black Labor Week in Gary, IN. Herbie Porter, chair of the Next Gen Committee, said, “It was a wonderful experience and I believe I can speak for everyone when I say we learned a lot! Not only did I learn a lot, but it also inspired me to want to do more here at our local and in our community.”

Porter invited other young union members to become active in future Nex Gen programs. The committee meet each month at 2 p.m. (an hour before the monthly membership meeting) every third Saturday at the USW Local 8888 union hall (4306 Huntington Ave., Newport News, VA).