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IndustriALL spotlight on Malawi

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18 March, 2014Trade unions in Malawi operating under the challenging circumstances of an underdeveloped economy participated in an IndustriALL mission to the country on 4-6 March. The goal of the mission was to plan future work to organize.

Malawian unions organizing in IndustriALL sectors have challenges but they have huge potential to grow members and power if they can work together.

said Fabian Nkomo, Regional Secretary of IndustriALL Sub-Sahara Africa, after the factory visits and two-day workshop on 4-6 March 2014 in capital city Lilongwe.

  BCCEAWU CIAWU TGLSSEWU CEMAWU TOTAL

Paid membership

8,930

5,200

6,543

1,147

21,820

Paid membership IndustriALL sectors

1,242

750 959

1,147

4,098

Potential

35,000

20,000

37,000 35,000

127,000 (at least)

Potential in IndustriALL sectors

18,000

2,500

7,000

35,000

62,500

No. Staff

5 4 6 3 18

No. of CBAs

5 6 9 0 20

Location HQ

Blantyre Blantyre Blantyre Lilongwe  

Women structures

? Yes Yes No  

There is a large potential for organizing workers in IndustriALL’s sectors in Malawi. The three IndustriALL affiliated unions, with a fourth in the process of affiliation, have targeted priority organizing targets and already represent 21,820 members.

The potential organizing work for the unions was mapped out during the mission and possibilities for a joint programme were discussed in the presence of representatives from Finnish IndustriALL affiliate Metalli and Finnish solidarity support organisation SASK.

The mission was impressed with enthusiastic and committed trade union officials of each of the affiliates, all ready to work in unity, and was also impressed by the openness to organizing from workers and employers.

See the eye-opening photos attached to this article that offer a snapshot of working conditions for IndustriALL members in Malawi.