Cablegate: Mozambique Interest in Regional Labor Rights Training

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.


E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: STATE 145218

1. Post recommends two participants for the September 29th-30th
ILAB-DRL/IL worker rights training seminar in Johannesburg, E/P
labor reporting officer Loren Dent and Political Assistant Naimo
Vasco Antonio. Please find below the candidate information.

2. NAME: Loren Dent
LOCATION: Embassy Maputo
TITLE: Econ/Pol Officer (covering labor affairs)
PHONE: 258-1-492-797
In a seven person, four-officer E/P section, Ms. Dent covers the
labor portfolio and does extensive labor reporting. With the
Government of Mozambique on the heels of revising its labor law
(new law anticipated in 2005), labor is a hot topic. The USDOL
and ILO are currently funding various labor initiatives in
Mozambique concerning industrial-based bargaining and labor
dispute resolution training, the reduction of HIV/AIDS in the
workplace, understanding workers' rights, and research on the
current labor law and recommendations for reform. Ms. Dent has
planned several visits for USDOL representatives and the regional
labor officer (Johannesburg) to speak with local labor unions,
government officials in the Ministry of Labor, the Minister of
Labor, academia, and the private sector. Most recently, Ms. Dent
organized a 60-person labor seminar in coordination with USDOL
ILAB to bring players from various sectors together to discuss
recommendations for labor reform in anticipation of the 2005
labor law revision. This seminar was a success and realized full-
day participation by the Minister of Labor and remarks by both
the Minister and the U.S. Ambassador. The USG has significant
interest in seeing Mozambique's labor law reform create a more
investment-friendly climate that will raise Mozambique's regional
competitiveness. The next program, anticipated for the fall of
2004, will bring Peter Hurtgen, Director of the Federal Mediation
and Conciliation Service (FMCS), to Mozambique to speak on labor
rights and mediation. With significant labor issues and the
widespread affect that a law revision will have on the entire
community, Ms. Dent has provided several reporting cables on the
local situation and how current USG programs are positively
affecting change in Mozambique. Ms. Dent has never received any
type of labor reporting officer training and looks forward to the
opportunity to participate in this two-day course. It is a
certainty that with ongoing USDOL and ILO programs and the labor
law revision, labor will remain a serious topic with considerable
discussion in Mozambique and among potential investors. This
course comes at a good time to sharpen the skills necessary to
accurately understand and report on current events.
3. NAME: Naimo Vasco Antonio
LOCATION: Embassy Maputo
TITLE: Political Specialist, FSN (covering labor affairs)
PHONE: 258-1-492-797
As one of Post's two E/P FSNs, Vasco is instrumental in analyzing
and accurately reporting labor events in Mozambique. Vasco
communicates regularly with our contacts at the Ministry of
Labor, including the Minister's chief of staff, the labor unions,
academia, and the private sector, to keep abreast of labor
issues, particularly dialogue between workers and employers.
Vasco was key in helping a two-year USDOL effort in Mozambique
led by FMCS. In 2003-2004, FMCS labor dispute resolution trainers
visited Mozambique on four occasions to provide training to a
tripartite group of participants: government, labor unions, and
the private sector. Vasco identified participants, encouraged
their participation, worked with USDOL and FMCS to ensure things
were prepared before the trainers arrived, and followed-up with
participants. This training was so valuable that it has been
taken on the road by the FMCS trainees and currently union
members and workers are learning about labor dispute resolution
in the provinces. Vasco's labor work was also critical to the
success of the May 2004 labor seminar that was managed dually by
Post and USDOL. Vasco has never had the opportunity to attend
labor training and would greatly benefit from the information and
recommendations presented, especially given the importance of
labor issues in Mozambique. This training will not only benefit
Vasco, it will also benefit Post by providing one of our most
intelligent and capable FSNs with important skills needed to
manage the labor portfolio.

4. Due to end-of-year fiscal constraints, we regret that Post
does not have the funds to pay for candidates' per diem in
Johannesburg. Post would appreciate if USDOL would consider
covering the full cost of candidates' participation in the
seminar if chosen.

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