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Pushing back precarious work in Senegal

3 July, 2017Collective bargaining agreements negotiated by IndustriALL affiliates, SYNTICS and SUTIDS unions, recently saw 123 daily workers getting permanent jobs in Senegal. Those with five to 10-years-experience were either being permanently employed or receiving on-the-job training.

At perfume and cosmetic maker, Gandour, 65 out of 287 daily workers got permanent jobs. At plastic manufacturer, Polyplast, 58 out of 90 jobs were also made permanent.

If this trend continues, more manufacturing jobs will become secure. This was important to the chemical and construction sectors which were experiencing growth, and more likely to create jobs.

The IndustriALL affiliates have been campaigning to end precarious work in Senegal for the last three years, and the struggle for decent jobs continues.

The campaign against precarious work, which took place at national, sectoral and company levels, targeted employers who preferred giving jobs to temporary workers rather than offering secure permanent jobs. For instance, daily workers were paid lower wages than those of permanent workers for the same work. Further, they were exposed to risks of occupational accidents and diseases, and did not benefit from social security.

IndustriALL coordinator for the Sub Saharan Africa Precarious Work Project, Augustin Adakou, said the Senegalese government should repeal labour laws including Decree 70-183 of 1970 on the employment of daily and seasonal workers. This outdated law did not promote decent work.

Other countries that were part of the campaign to end precarious work included Cameroon, Burkina Faso and Nigeria where similar efforts were being made for more permanent jobs.

In 2016, because of this campaign, IndustriALL affiliates in the project countries organised 4500 precarious workers into unions, and over 1500 temporary jobs became permanent. Workshops were also conducted on labour laws, negotiation skills and collective bargaining. The affiliates organized in sectors including building materials, chemicals, energy, metals, mining, oil and gas, rubber, pulp and paper, textiles and garments, and leather and footwear.