6 November, 2012In order to assist in rebuilding union membership, IndustriALL held an organizing and collective bargaining workshop with the Mineworkers Union of Zambia (MUZ).
The three day workshop, on 30 October to 1 November in Kitwe, gave branch leaders the opportunity to reflect on the challenges that the union faces and to come up with strategies to address these.
One of the biggest challenges is the proliferation of small unions since the privatization of the mining industry in Zambia, a situation that seemed to be encouraged during the previous regime. This has resulted in three or four unions competing for the same membership in mining companies and inevitably led to worker disunity.
The climate has changed positively for organized labour under the present government and participants felt that there seems to be genuine commitment to allow the unions to develop into a strong, representative and united force.
The new leadership of MUZ is committing itself to rebuilding MUZ and they are open to possibly working with other unions or possible mergers. MUZ recognizes the opportunity to reorganize itself and to redefine their membership’s role in the running of the union to improve union democracy.
Participants defined an organizing programme and discussed the way forward to bring back lost membership. The programme will be supported by the Solidarity Center and will focus on building membership in all the branches in the mining industry.
The workshop was supported by the Solidarity Center.