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Africa: HIV-AIDS in Collective Bargaining

UNI Graphical Africa: HIV-AIDS in Collective Bargaining

For the second consecutive year, UNI Graphical convened the graphical unions of Southern and Eastern Africa to analyze and carry out joint actions linked to collective bargaining as well as to establish common frameworks to strengthen their respective organizations.

At the meeting in Nairobi on November 19th and 20th , the unions decided to include a clause on HIV-AIDS in all future negotiations. The aim is to establish a joint worker and employer approach to the core issue. This clause will be directed towards guaranteeing prevention and education policies in the work place and to the elimination of all types of discrimination towards the men and women workers affected by the virus. Joint efforts will also be made with the business side in terms of worker access to effective treatment.

The representatives of the graphical unions in Zambia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Uganda also made a commitment to include a clause on the implementation of Occupational Health and Safety Committees in each affiliated company in their collective bargaining agreements.

UNI Graphical Makes Progress in the Process of Coordinating Collective Bargaining

Keith Jacobs, UNI Graphical Coordinator for the sub region, presented the results of the questionnaire sent out in the course of this year. Ninety percent (90%) of the unions responded and based on these a comparative framework on how each union approaches collective bargaining was established. The participants added some additional points to the questionnaire that will be distributed in 2006.

Simon Dubbins, from AMICUS, gave a presentation on the experience of coordinating collective bargaining being carried out in UNI Graphical Europe. In spite of the great differences between one continent and the other, the participants garnered several elements from this experience, which they intend to use in the region.

Multinationals on the Agenda

The participants continued the discussion on the need to establish effective networks in greater depth. They especially emphasized the graphical and paper processing multinationals established in the region. "We have to ensure that solidarity and the networks among workers make the world ever smaller for the large companies." stressed Keith Jacobs.

Lucia van Westerlak, President of FNV Kiem,The Netherlands, underscored: "This meeting was excellent, not only because of the content, but because practical decisions that can contribute very positively to improving the lives of workers were made." Lucia encouraged the group to continue expanding this work, emphasizing the need to continue fighting against all types of discrimination.

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