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IndustriALL affiliates in Sub-Saharan Africa acting against precarious work


6 December, 2012The Sub-Saharan Africa arm of IndustriALL’s Precarious Work Project held its regional seminar in Accra, Ghana on 22 and 23 November 2012, affiliates participating shared experiences and successful strategies against precarious work.

Unions in the region have driven the adoption of legislation related to the use of precarious work. For example, the campaign in Senegal on precarious work, led by the SUTIDS (Syndicat Unique des Travailleurs des Industries Diverses du Sénégal) has resulted in the promulgation of a Presidential Decree on private employment agencies and workers employed by outsourcing companies in 2010. This law set limits on the use of precarious workers, promotes joint liability for precarious workers on the user-enterprise and equal treatment for precarious and permanent workers. Since the promulgation of the bill, the union has been working closely with labour inspectors to ensure that employers comply with this new legislation. Companies had to terminate their contract with subcontractors which were not complying with the new decree. Similar legislative developments have occurred in Nigeria and Guinea.

Through the project in Mozambique, SINTIQUIAF (Sindicato Nacional dos Trabalhadores da Indústria Quimica e Afins) has been able reinforce the use of social dialogue. All the stakeholders, including temporary work agencies, have met and explored how to improve compliance with the legislation regulating precarious work. The close cooperation of trade unions with the ministry of employment and labour inspectors has already led to the denunciation of cases of violation of the law in regard to contract work.

Particular focus continues to be made by the trade unions on recruiting precarious workers and in gaining permanent status for precarious workers.  All affiliates participating in the project have increased their membership in 2012.

2012 marked the start, in this region, of the second phase of the precarious work project, which is supported since it began in 2009 by the Finnish trade union solidarity centre, SASK.  IndustriALL Global Union is running this project in 9 countries: Nigeria, Mozambique, Mauritius, Senegal, Guinea, South Africa, Namibia, Burkina Faso and Niger. Seventeen affiliates of IndustriALL have been participating and have been able to achieve noteworthy results that could inspire other affiliates worldwide.

From 2013 the project will target 4 new countries thanks to the support of ACV-CSC Building Industry Energy (BIE): Cameroun, Togo, Mauritania and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Furthermore, participants have designed a strategy to involve all affiliates of IndustriALL Global Union in their countries in future project activities.