THE Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) symposium is underway in the Eritrean capital Asmara since yesterday under the theme “Trade Union Reforms in Africa”.
This international symposium draws around 48 heads of African Trade Unions as well as representatives from Chinese Workers Federation, three Italian Workers Federation and Turkish Workers Federation participated.
In the opening ceremony at the Asmara Palace Hotel, Mr. Tekeste Baire, General Secretary of the National Confederation of Eritrean Workers (NCEW), said that the Organization of African Union Unity is one of the independent African organizations which ardently advocates for the rights of and the umbrella of workers, and that the symposium would help in forwarding supporting ideas that could help the organization in overcoming the different challenges that are standing in front of it.
Mr. Francis Atwoli, President of the OATUU, on his part indicated that one of the basic tasks of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity is to firmly stand for the rights of workers, and that the objective of the symposium is to reform and strengthen the organization.
Likewise, Mr. Arezki Mezhoud, Acting Secretary General of OATUU, stated that the demand of workers is universal, and that important ideas are expected from this symposium so that to look at the African workers demand in terms of that.
In the symposium that is expected to convene until 24 February, research papers with regards workers job opportunities, international challenges, the importance of peace and stability in Africa in ensuring opportunities and unity have been presented, and that the participants conducted extensive discussion on developing the agenda 2015 of the organization, experience of other countries and organizations in overcoming workers challenges.
In a paper he presented to participants of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity symposium, Mr. Yemane Gebreab, Head of the Political Affairs of the PFDJ, said that workers and all working people and their organizations, particularly trade unions are an important force in national, continental and global struggles for peace, development, human dignity and social justice.
He further indicated that trade unions built over centuries of worker’s struggle at one time a formidable and influential political, economic, social and cultural force has been in decline due to external interferences, and that has been the outcome of the unprecedented inequality, inequality of both power and wealth, and lack of organization and power of workers.
Mr. Yemane also explained that in order to realize the rights and dignity of workers and all working people requires positive, fundamental change at national, continental and global level, and that workers rights cannot be assured in nations that are beholden to foreign powers and routinely flout the rights and interests of citizens, in countries that are racked by violent, sectarian conflicts.
In a concluding remark Mr. Yemane noted that as to Eritrea, the people and Government, People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, the National Confederation of Workers, the youth, women and professional associations are ready to shoulder the responsibilities and make a modest contribution to the African and global effort for a world of dignity for all.
In an interactive session he held on 24 February with the heads of African Trade Unions and representatives of a number of International Trade Unions, President Isaias Afwerki called on the workers and their associations to enhance role aimed at ensuring the sovereignty and development of African countries.
He further said that currently the African and International trade unions have been in decline due to policy of domination of the super powers, and that trade associations should strengthen their organization in order to bring about positive changes that benefit workers.
During the interactive session the heads of African Trade Unions and representatives of the International unions expressed resolve to strengthen unity and struggle to overcome the challenges they are facing.
At the occasion Mr. Francis Atwoli, President of OATUU, explained the objectives of the OATUU, and that the 11 points presented by the Government of Eritrea sighting the objective situation of workers and the solutions for the challenges they are facing would greatly help for strengthening the African workers movement.