Johannesburg: Statement of Africa Region GUFs Forum

05 June 2017 19:16


Global Union Federations (GUFs) in the Africa Region met in a Forum from 10-12 April 2017 in Johannesburg, South Africa to deepen their understanding of the African Labour Market and Trade Union Development, and to exchange ideas and formulate strategies on how to strengthen the African Trade Union Movement. 

The meeting was attended by representatives of BWI, IFJ, IUF, ITF, IndustriAll, UNI, PSI, ITUC-Africa, with the participation of trade union movements of OTUWA, EATUC, SATUCC, COSATU, FEDUSA, NALEDI, 3F, SASK and with the support of the FES. 

In strengthening the structure of the Africa Forum, the meeting adopted a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the “Structure, Functioning, Meaning and Future of the annual African GUF Forum”.

Participants at the forum agreed to improve coordination amongst GUFs in the region through joint campaigns and strengthening relationships of GUFs and ITUC-Africa. They also discussed strategies of improving the capacity of Africa Trade unions to better pursue decent work, sustainable development and democratic governance. 

The forum lamented the lack of sufficient media coverage of activities and developmenents in the trade union movement in Africa, and called on journalists’ unions and their members to give more attention to trade union development issues in the region. The forum received insightful presentations including Chinese Investments in Africa. It was noted that these investments are in all sectors of the economy, and that GUFs together with ITUC-Africa and Sub-Regional movements should cooperate on monitoring the effects of Chinese investments. The meeting was briefed on the South African trade unions federations and their role at the BRICS Labour Forum, and the Campaign for the ratification and implementation of the ILO Core Conventions by China. 

In view of the changing labour market and on the future of work presented by the ILO it was agreed to look at future of work from a sectoral perspective and develop strategies for change. The forum welcomed the offer of support from FES for the establishment of an organising labour academy and was agreed to explore the modalities for such a Trade Union organising academy driven and led by GUFs.