As part of its priorities in work programme, IndustriALL Global Union continues to conduct actions in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA). The affiliates in Tunisia and Morocco decided to create National Councils towards unity building and coordinating international actions.
Attended by the affiliates of IndustriALL Global Union in Tunisia and Morocco, the unity building meetings, one in Tunis on October 21-22 and another in Casablanca on October 23-24, discussed expectations and formalized priorities. The meetings were also attended by German and French affiliates.
Participants at the meetings in Tunisia came from the affiliated unions in metal, petrochemical and textile & garment sectors, belonging to the national center UGTT, which is by large the biggest trade union confederation in the country. The UGTT played a key role during the Arab Spring, and is a respected actor in key political negotiations taking place in the country at the moment.
Unions voiced their hopes for the continuation and strengthening of the present bilateral activities regarding multinationals in the metal sector, and the expansion of those activities to other companies, countries and industries. Assisting in the struggles against unemployment and youth unemployment was seen as of particular importance for IndustriALL.
At the seminar in Casablanca, participants were from two of IndustriALL’s affiliates, representing electric power workers and textile workers along with potential affiliates from metal, chemical, mining and oil & gas sectors. Both aerospace, a new industry for the participating unions, and the electric, automotive and textile sector were discussed.
Common issues in Tunisia and Morocco
In both countries the decision was taken to establish national councils. This is a step towards bringing together both affiliates and potential affiliates to discuss international activities, and to coordinate IndustriALL’s activities in the country. Precarious work, especially in the metal and mining sectors, and the protection of women workers are issues that will benefit from increased coordination in the area.
Networks were also discussed, both industrial and company networks at sub-regional, regional and global levels. The participating unions pointed out a need for IndustriALL to develop networks covering oil and gas workers, phosphate mining and textile workers, as well as promoting their inclusion in all relevant Global Networks at both industrial and company level.
“The industrial situation in Tunisia and Morocco requires a special union strategy” said Kemal Özkan, IndustriALL’s Assistant General Secretary. “There is huge potentials in both countries, and we will conduct result-oriented actions to boost union presence in the multinational companies”.