West Africa Postal Unions Breaking Through with Successful Organising Campaigns
West African postal unions are celebrating successes in their recent organising campaigns. Unions in Niger, Cameroon, and Côte d’Ivoire who have received organising support and training from UNI have grown rapidly in size and power.
The unions firstly built up the number of trained activists, and then moved to worker issue-based campaigning. They have recruited nearly 600 new members as part of the training and support project, which was funded by the Canadian trade unions CUPW.
The project is part of a wider strategy of building union power in the postal sector in the region.
Cornelia Broos, Head of UNI Post & Logistics, congratulated the affiliated unions on their excellent union work. She said:
“These unions and their activists have done a great job, starting with their enthusiasm in the training and workshops, but more importantly, in the execution of their own organising plans.
“This will positively impact all areas of life – workers’ rights, their families’ health and wellbeing, human rights, generally, and the fabric of the wider society. We have more work to do together, but the unions are now in the lead and have achieved take-off.”
Meanwhile, in separate projects in the same UNI sector, also in West Africa, unions trying to organise DHL are making progress. Having achieved over 80% membership in DHL, the unions in Côte d’Ivoire have been requesting, for nearly a year, that the company fulfil its obligations under law to hold elections for a works council.
But a year has been wasted in courts as the company has sought to prevent the elections from taking place.
Recently, in Senegal the postal workers’ union there, SNTPT, won 4 out of the 5 seats, and management has accepted the result and are working with union representatives.
UNI is hoping that DHL in Côte d’Ivoire will end its obstructions and move to working together with the workforce and its representatives.
UNI Africa and UNI Post & Logistics are following up all this excellent work with further training and support, with additional workshops planned in the near future.