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General News Mon, 26 Nov 2007

African trade unionism to receive a boost

Accra, Nov. 26, GNA - Trade unionism in Africa would on Tuesday receive a boost after the merger of two unions to form a strong, united and competent regional organisation to effectively champion concerns of workers.

The merger between the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions-African Regional Organisation (ICFTU-AFRO) and the Democratic Organisation of African Workers Trade Unions (DOAWTU) would be finally declared at a Founding Congress in Accra on Tuesday. Representatives of national trade unions across the region began pre-congress activities on Monday to formally dissolve the unions and adopt the International Trade Union Confederation-United African Regional Organisation (ITUC-UARO).

Sir. Roy Trotman, Vice Chairman, Governing Board of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), expressed optimism that with a united front, the continent could deal with the enormous problems confronting its working class, as a result of over globalization and liberalization.

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He said unification was necessary to use a common voice to negotiate and demand a better future from governments and employers who did not appreciate workers as assets but as profit makers. Sir Trotman said the time had come to intensify the struggle for justice and equity for all workers to negotiate instead of pleading for what they were rightfully entitled to. Mr Guy Ryder, General Secretary for the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), pledged his organisation's commitment to support ITUC-AFRO to achieve its mandate, saying "The future is in your own hands to make".

He said the merger was a major achievement for Africa in its bid to protect the masses from industrial exploitation and empower them in this era of globilisation.

The congress being hosted by the Ghana Trades Union Congress would also dilate on labour issues such as mainstreaming gender equality, trade union strategies for HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment at workplaces, youth empowerment and developing action plans to integrate informal workers into the trade union.

Source: GNA
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