CAPACITY BUILDING FOR ORGANISING AND MANAGING TRADE UNIONS 13TH TO 24TH MAY 2013. TURIN
ORGANISATION OF AFRICAN TRADE UNION UNITY’S (OATUU) REPORT 2013
The Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) is the only African Trade Union Organisation that represents all the trade union tendencies in Africa. It has 73 affiliates in 55 African countries including the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), with a total membership of about 25 million.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES : The main aims and objectives of OATUU are:
To coordinate the action of its affiliates throughout Africa.
To achieve trade union unity both at the continental and national levels.
To represent and defend the material and moral interest of African workers and trade unions in regional and international organisations.
To work towards the harmonization of labour legislation and the principles of collective bargaining in Africa.
To protect and affirm the independence and identity of the African trade unions at all the levels.
To promote, reinforce and defend trade union and other human rights.
To work for African unity and economic integration.
To contribute to the achievement and consolidation of peace in the world.
To defend the material and moral interest of migrant African workers in collaboration with trade union organizations of the host countries.
To give solidarity assistance to workers and trade union organisations.
To fight against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, apartheid and their agents as well as against feudalism and any other forms of oppression and exploitation for the economic independence of Africa and the complete emancipation of our people.
To work for social and economic justice, to protect the health and safety at workplaces, to secure education and training of the African people and to ensure the guarantee of full employment through :
industrialization and economic integration;
equality for all without distinction of sex, race, colour, creed or religion;
a just distribution of national wealth.
1. OATUU carries out education, training, research and advocacy in the following areas:
Defence and promotion of trade union rights;
Popular participatory and people-empowered democracy;
Entreprenuership and small business development within African trade unions;
Occupational health and safety;
Campaign against child labour;
Action against HIV/AIDS;
Promotion of Social Dialogue;
Trade and Development.
2. In protecting, defending and promoting trade union rights, OATUU takes particular actions against reported and proven violation of these rights. It does so, for instance, by taking up such violations with the governments concerned or filing complaints within the International Labour Organization.
3. OATUU performs its functions of coordinating trade union actions in Africa, defending the moral and material interest of African workers including migrant workers; harmonizing labour legislation and the principles of collective bargaining; working for African unity and economic integration; working for social and economic justice, etc., through its interaction with various regional and international bodies and especially through representing African Trade Unions in Regional, Continental and International fora.
STRUCTURE OF OATUU
1. THE CONGRESS
The Congress of OATUU is the highest organ of the organization. It meets once in every four (4) years. Delegates to the Congress are composed of four (4) members from each national center.
2. GENERAL COUNCIL
The General Council is the second highest organ of OATUU. It is held once in a year with one (1) representative from each affiliate of OATUU and all the members of the Executive Committee.
Between two Congresses the powers of the Congress devolves on the General Council with the exception of the power to amend the Constitution.
3. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
The Executive Committee is composed of 13 members elected at the Congress. It implements the decisions of the Congress and the General Council. It also supervises the work of the OATUU Secretariat. The Executive Committee meets at least twice a year.
4. THE SECRETARIAT
The OATUU Secretariat is based in its headquarters in Accra, Ghana under the direction of the Secretary-General as the Chief Executive, assisted by two Assistant Secretaries-General and a Treasurer-General. They are elected by Congress and hold office for a period of four years. They are eligible for re-election. The personnel of the Secretariat are recruited by the Secretary-General in consultation with the Executive Committee.
5. SUB-REGIONAL ORGANISATIONS
OATUU facilitated the creation of sub-regional organizations to ensure its service delivery to its constituents. These include:
OTUWA – Organisation of Trade Unions of West Africa;
SATUCC – Southern African Trade Union Coordinating Council;
OTUCA – Organisation of Trade Unions of Central Africa;
UAMTU – Union of Arab Maghreb Trade Unions;
EATUC – East African Trade Union Council.
STATE OF TRADE UNIONS
Trade union movements have played such pivotal roles in the histories of most African countries especially in the struggle for independence and still continue to play their roles in different sectors of the social,political and economic lives of their peoples and countries in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. They have achieved a measure even though some today some are weakened as a result of proliferation and fragmentation and sometimes due to political interference. Despite these challenges, they are still potent source of potential change in one of the most politically and economically troubled regions in the world. One of the brightest hopes for the continent is the strength of its civil society, and in Africa, trade unionism has long been at the forefront of civil society’s efforts to make a difference.
One of the workshops organized by OATUU to educate, sensitize its affiliates was on the DWCP.
The Workshop aimed at strengthening the role of trade unions in social dialogue particularly with reference to DWCPs and DWRPs.
The expected results of the Workshop were strengthened commitment of the participants to be more effectively involved in the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of DWCPs and DWRPs and Social Dialogue as a whole. Consequently, some conclusions and recommendations for follow-up actions after the Workshop were expected. This would make the Workshop as result-oriented as possible.
A kind of feedback on the follow-up will be expected.
A paper was presented on Social Dialogue and Tripartism with particular reference to Decent Work Country and Regional Programmes. The paper was titled
“DWCP: Tool for Promoting Social Dialogue and Tripartism.” The main issues discussed in the paper were: a description of the Decent Work Country Programme; the Social Dialogue Opportunities which included the Process and the Content; theDWCP Highlights in Africa and the Lessons Learnt.
Participants learnt that the DWCP was ILO’s tool for delivering decent work at country level. It was a framework for ILO’s medium-term contribution to promote national decent work priorities as defined with the constituents and it was also ILO’s contribution to United Nations development work at country level. Furthermore, the DWCP was the means for implementing the Global Jobs Pact. It defines intended results and was both a product and a process.
The six-step cycle of DWCP, which had to involve the full participation of all constituents – government, workers/trade unions, employers and other stakeholders, included:
The country context;
The Country Programme Priorities;
The Country Programme Outcomes;
Reporting and Evaluation.
The Social Dialogue opportunities achieved in the DWCP process were the strengthening of tripartite structures or systems and enhancing the capacity of the constituents to engage each other in all the six steps of the DWCP process.
In conclusion, without doubt, African Trade Unions remain among the best institutions the AfricanCountries can rely upon for the implementation of its socio-economic policies in Africa. African Trade Unions have solid credentials, such as internal democracy, accountability and solid structures throughout the length and breadth of every African country. Very few organizations and institutions have such impressive credentials.Perhaps one of the most important areas of the work of African workers and trade unions is inthe area of socio-economic policy formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation by African countries among others to help promote Decent Work for al African workers.
1. Decent work and basic needs.
2. Pan-Africanism and Africa’s Regional Integration
3. Promoting Gender Equality among African Trade Unions
4. Promoting Youth Employment and their effective participation/integration among trade unions.