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General News Mon, 26 Nov 2007

New Pan African Union to be out-doored

Accra, Nov. 26 GNA - A new and Pan-African Trade Unions Organisation would be formed on Tuesday in Accra following the dissolution of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) Africa Regional Organisation (AFRO), the Democratic Organisation of African Workers Trade Unions (DOAWTU) and other independent trade unions on the continent. The new union termed; International Trade Union Confederation-United African Regional Organisation (ITUC-UARO) was established out of the desire to form a strong, united and competent regional trade union organisation that could effectively champion the cause Of the people in face of the numerous problems being engendered by globalisation.

In November last year, the former ICFTU, of which the ICFTU-AFRO was the African regional body merged with the former World Confederation of Labour (WCL) of which DOAWTU was the African regional organisation to form the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC).

At the founding congress of the ITUC, the ICFTU-AFRO and DOAWTU made a pledge to unify within one year in order to actualize a widely held view among working people worldwide that unity was necessary to build workers power in order to effectively and confidently rise up to the challenges of globalization.

Mr Andrew Kailembo, out-going General Secretary of ICFTU-AFRO said the union had played a critical role in championing the cause of Africa workers by advocating for improved conditions of Labour through the promotion and defence of the rights of working people.

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He called for the strengthening of the structures of trade unions on the continent in order to have a unified regional body that could spearhead the labour and trade issue for the continent. Mr. Kailemo also urged trade unions in Africa to continue to confront the injustices of free trade which, he said, the was not in the best interest of the working people of the continent.

He said the exploitation of workers, especially women, in the emerging export processing zones (EPZs) in several African countries, provide a concrete demonstration of how African government were succumbing to the pressure of unregulated international competition to deny trade union rights. He said, the union carried forward its struggle to eliminate child Labour and ensure that every African child can go to school and rejected arguments that child labour was inevitable as well as beneficial to the children concerned and their families.

Mr. Guy Ryder, General Secretary of ITUC expressed concern about the liberalization of the public sectors such as water, power, health and education.

He said the privatization of such essential services would lead to profit making by Multinational Corporation, which excluded the poor majority who cannot afford the cost to access such basic amenities. He called on the union leaders in Africa to effectively deal with the concerns and expectations of young workers and achieving their full integration into trade unions, which is crucial to strengthening, revitalization, creativity and the future of the trade unions movement in Africa. 26 Nov. 07

Source: GNA
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