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.