To win workers' rights and promote the ILO decent work agenda, UNI-Africa is actively organising workers in multinational companies across the continent.The aim is to ensure that all workers in the service industry are covered by a collective agreement.As companies become global, networking beyond borders is helping trade unions to organise and campaign globally.Through multinational union alliances, UNI-Africa is helping its affiliates to have a common platform to share experiences, strategies and solutions to common problems.
So far, the following multinational union alliances have been created and are promoting active networking among shop stewards:
- Barclay's Africa Union Forum (Finance)
- Nampak Union Alliance (Graphical)
- France Telecoms Union Alliance (Telecoms)
- Shoprite Union Alliance (Commerce)
- MTN Union Alliance (Telecoms)
- Group 4 Securicor Union Alliance (Property Services)
The union alliances are one step towards negotiating global agreements with multinational companies to guarantee the protection of the ILO core labour standards.
HIV / Aids
HIV now considered a serious social, health, economic & development problem in Africa where 26 million people are living with HIV in sub-Sahara Africa. This is 63% of people living with HIV globally. And 72% of people who need ARVs in Africa are not getting them. Programs aimed at the prevention of Mother to child Transmission Treatment (PMTCT) now stands at 11% in Africa. By 2010 about 11 million people will need ARVs UNAIDS estimates.
In line with the 2003 UNI-Africa Congress resolution on HIV, the region has launched three HIV/AIDS projects:
- UNI-SATU HIV project: 2003-2006
- LOTCO HIV project: 2006 - 2007
- BBTK-Setca HIV project: 2007 -2011
- Zambia: Support home for orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs) launched with the support of CWU-Ireland.
- HIV/AIDS coordinators trained across Africa
- Shop stewards have been trained on HIV/AIDS policy formulation
- Training materials developed
- Some affiliates are now involved in HIV prevention, awareness & community outreach programmes
- HIV/AIDS workplace policies launched in countries like Ghana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, South Africa & Zambia.
- Stigma, discrimination & victimisation still prevalent
- Fewer workplace policies in companies
- These policies are not negotiated, but an initiative of management
- Fewer or no VCT services at workplaces
- No provision of ARVs at workplaces
Governments collaborating more with NGOs than unions on national HIV/AIDS policies.
Trade Unions should:
- negotiate HIV policies in collective bargaining agreements (CBAs)
- develop HIV policies for union staff
- prioritise treatment, care & support
- advocate for access to affordable AIDS drugs
- involved in national HIV policy development & implementation.