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Young trade union leaders in MENA region complete training

19 December, 2018Thirty-two young trade unionists from IndustriALL Global Union affiliates in Tunisia and Morocco became the first to graduate from a training programme set up to build capacity among young leaders and potential leaders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). 

Twelve participants from Tunisian affiliated unions and 20 participants from Moroccan affiliates were awarded diplomas at the third MENA youth regional network meeting in Tunis on 12 December.

As part of the course, run by IndustriALL with support from Swedish unions, participants from each union designed their own project to empower young trade unionists and help organize more young workers.

The course is designed to increase young trade unionists’ skills the area of trade union rights, precarious work and organizing, and raise awareness of the structural and systemic barriers in order to promote the inclusion and full participation of young workers.

Khalil Kaanane, from Moroccan union, Syndicat National des Travailleurs de Phosphates, who took the course, said: 

“It is an ambitious programme and a great opportunity for young trade union leaders in the region to enrich their knowledge, broaden their contacts and develop their work, thanks to the various projects proposed. Ambition, commitment and creativity are the passwords to succeed in this programme and reach out to the ranks of young workers.”

Course participants completed four seminars in 2018, each lasting three or four days, covering trade union structures and labour basics; organizing, collective bargaining and gender; campaigning and multinational tools; and the future of work, youth and unions. 

The course is part of a project that came about as the result of an analysis made by the young representatives that met at the first MENA youth regional meeting in Morocco in 2016.  

Young trade union leaders from Iraq and Morocco will take part in the course in 2019.

Some twenty participants (who were ten men and ten women) from Tunisia and other MENA countries took part in the regional youth network meeting from 11 to 13 December. It included participation by Carin Hallerström (International Secretary) and Axcel Lindersson Democracy Secretary) from Swedish union, UNIONEN.

The participants resolved to take action now to make sure there is more effective youth participation and representation during IndustriALL’s next Congress period that will start from October 2020.

Each country and affiliate also made a list of priorities to focus on during the next year, which include raising awareness of unions among young people, increasing participation of youth in meetings and trainings, more youth training on organizing, and improving knowledge of union work and legislation (both national and international).

The youth network also chose a date to have a regional day of action.