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Unions advocate for decent work, social justice

24 February 2014, 21:34

Nairobi – Trade unions on the continent have been urged to mobilize and promote the International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work and Social Justice Agenda.

Union leaders at a conference held in Nairobi and organised by the ILO Bureau of Workers' Activities (ACTRAV) and the Central Organization of Trade Union (COTU-Kenya) supported by the ACTRAV (Norway) project on Trade Unions for Social Justice, also emphasised the importance of unity in the African labour movement.

Caroline Mugalla, Executive Secretary of East Africa Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) stressed that the Decent Work agenda is a key message for trade unions.

“It clearly brings about what we as trade unions are fighting for. In the case of East Africa, all the countries have recorded economic growth. However this growth has not necessarily resulted to job opportunities. It has been a jobless growth which has in turn contributed to a high increase of the informal economy. In terms of development, trade unions need to implement the Decent Work agenda and work on the issues such as social protection and social justice for all,” she said.

Owei Lakemfa, General Secretary of Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), also highlighted the importance of promoting the Decent Work agenda.

“Unions need to think about how they can mobilise the rest of the society to implement Decent Work because social protection and social justice for all are important factors. There is no reason why anybody in Africa or in the World should go to bed hungry. Workers must have access to employment benefits and unions need to ensure that children have the right to education,” said Lakemfa.

More than 130 delegates from over 40 African countries, sub-regional and regional trade union organisations attended the event in Nairobi.

- CAJ News


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