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East African unions receive awards for organizing

8 November, 2016When the IndustriALL East Africa Union Building project met in Uganda on 27 – 28 October, three unions were awarded for their major organizing achievements.

Under the theme “building stronger IndustriALL affiliated trade unions in East Africa for economic and social justice”, a two-day workshop was held in Uganda in October.

The 22 participants discussed organizing strategies, best practice, achievements and challenges, aiming at unity and cooperation at the national and international level. A strategy paper, looking at introducing revised national legislation to counter the use of short-term employment contracts in Uganda and Kenya, was presented.

Discussions also touched upon the various occupational safety and health (OSH) policies used by unions when organizing new members, the key factors affecting organizing efforts, and practical solutions to overcoming organizing challenges.

A national organizing strategy booklet for IndustriALL affiliates in East Africa was introduced. The strategy aims to build union power and increase workers’ participation in union activities and programmes:

  • Joint action strategy; for more and better organizing and recruitment, coupled with the recognition issue
  • Education for action strategy; to fight and stop precarious work
  • Capacity development strategy; was identified to handle issues for OSH

One of the strategic tools is the award for organizing new members into the union. Three unions were recognized for their outstanding performance in 2015

  1. Textile Tailors Working Union, Nigera, for having increased membership by 143 per cent
  2. Kenya Shoe and Leathers Workers Union, for a 20 per cent membership increase
  3. Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers having increased membership by 4.25 per cent