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Moroccan mining union established to fight for workers

22 March, 2024Under the slogan "Strengthening trade union action in the mining sector to defend the mining working class and win an agreement that guarantees the rights and benefits of the miners", the UMT National Union of Mineworkers in Morocco held its founding congress on 1 March.

The new union is the result of a cooperation programme between IndustriALL and UMT on strengthening and establishing sectoral union structures in the industrial sector. Two new sectoral unions in metals and textiles were established in 2022.

The congress elected 51 members to the administrative committee and 24 members to the national union bureau. Daoud Kalla was elected secretary general and Abdelrahman Barzama, Mohamed Aznak and Khalid Mtaqi deputy secretaries general.

The congress called on the government to establish an advanced national model for the mining sector that is inclusive and sustainable, socially and environmentally responsible, and respectful of trade union freedoms and the rights and gains of miners. Participants also called for a collective agreement for miners that guarantees their rights and gains and improves their financial, professional and social conditions.

In his opening speech, Miloudi Mokharik, secretary general of Union Marocaine du travail (UMT), emphasized the crucial role of the mining sector, which contributes more than ten percent to Morocco’s GDP.

He explained the role and sacrifices made by miners in relation to their conditions, and criticized the lack of real development in the social and environmental environment in the mining regions.

Ahmed Kamel, MENA regional secrertay, and  Atle Høie, IndustriALL general secretary, participated remotly in the opening session.

Said Atle Høie:

"We value the struggle of the mining leaders of UMT and stand firm in our solidarity with you. This is an essential step to strengthen union power in the sector, given the challenges ahead. I congratulate you and the leadership of the UMT on this achievement."