EATUC Progress Review 2007 – 2015
It has been ten years since we took a land mark decision to establish EATUC permanent secretariat. Indeed this was a serious and challenging decision taking into account that we started from the scratch to establish our regional trade union coordination body.
EATUC CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT
It has been ten years since we took a land mark decision to establish EATUC permanent secretariat. Indeed this was a serious and challenging decision taking into account that we started from the scratch to establish our regional trade union coordination body. Dear trade union leaders and colleagues, during the period under review we have seen the trade union movement in East Africa face a lot of challenges and a threat of rapid decline in membership.
It is also the period that has seen more industrial unrests with workers taking up to the streets to demand for their rights. It also a period in which we witnessed the trade union movement especially in Kenya pushed for a new constitution which eventually was achieved and Tanzania where TUCTA and ZATUC were members of the constitution review committee in addition to trade unions being delegates.
It is also a period that saw the integration process at its peaks; it was a period of cementing further regional integration paving the way for a deeper regional integration. We saw EATUC represented workers by engaging the High Level Task Force (HLTF) and the Eastern African Community Council of Ministers during the negotiations of the Common Market Protocol especially on issues related to labour and employment .
The signing of the CMP in 2010 did grantee free movement of workers but trade unions needed a lot advocacy and campaign to ensure that workers enjoyed the benefits that comes with free movement of workers. EATUC has done a lot of working in ensuring the harmonization process that will enable full implementation of the CMP is achieved. EATUC developed policy documents and recommendations that include, employment policy harmonization, Social Security Code, Social Security Portability Bill among others.
During the period under review we were able to engage the EAC and its partner states in the areas of harmonization of employment policies and legislation, youth employment, social security, decent work, democracy and EPAs. Through our approach of promoting social dialogue in the region, we were able to conduct a number of tripartite conferences and workshops so as to come up with a common understanding with our social partners on EATUC social agenda.
All along we have observed and said that without any concerted efforts to make labour and employment issues central to the EAC policies and programmes, the EAC development agenda is doomed to fail. Therefore throughout the five years we have been pushing for labour and employment issues to be at the heart of the EAC policy and programmes formulation.
Indeed during the period under review we fought for our space in the regional integration process and I am glad to say that we fairly succeeded. All these could not be achieved without the commitment and contributions from EATUC affiliates and our cooperating partners. Through EATUC affiliates’ commitment and support from our cooperating partners we have been able to strengthen EATUC secretariat and enhance its effectiveness.