Voting starts in National Recognition Ballots in Morocco
Voting has started in the national works council elections across all industries in Morocco. Morocco`s largest trade union, the UMT (Union Marocaine du Travail) is contesting elections across many syectors but for the first time is standing candidates in the country`s fast growing and increasingly strategic Contact Centre industry. Over 70,000 workers will be voting this week to elect their delegates to both national and enterprise level Works Councils. There is currently no union recognition at either local or national level. But from a small base of activists the UMT is now set to win both national recognition and a number of enterprise level bargaining rights agreements.
This would be a remarkable change for the union and a testament to the determination of the UMT activists.
UMT activists have been working in partnership with UNI organisers in preparing a plan, building networks, creating campaign materials and devising tactics to win as many of the setas as possible. In response some companies have victimised activists, with some fired or disciplined for supporting the UMT campaign. Other companies have sought to delay and obstruct the balloting process.
Morocco is dubbed the `Call Centre Capital of Europe` an ironic title because of the wave of Call Centre services moving to Morocco from many parts of the French speaking world including of course France and Belgium.
Funding and support has also been provided by the FES Foundation and the Solidarity Centre (AFL-CIO)
Votes are counted at each enterprise level and then aggregated for national results. The first result has come in awarding UMT the legal right to bargain and negotiate on behalf of the work force at the company Phonegroup, one of the largest in Morocco, where UMT won 35% of the vote.
The full results will be known on 10th June