Five Years ( 2007/2012 ) EATUC Progress Review
Dear trade union leaders and colleagues, it has been five years since I took up the position of EATUC’s Chairman after we amended our Constitution for the Chairman to serve for a period of five years instead of two years.
EATUC CHAIRMAN’S STATEMENT
It has been more than five 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, it has been five years since I took up the position of EATUC’s Chairman after we amended our Constitution for the Chairman to serve for a period of five years instead of two years. 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. It is also a period that saw the integration process at its peaks with the singing of the EAC Common Market Protocol and its commencement on 1st July 2010.It was a period of cementing further the 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 East African Community Council of Ministers during the negotiations of the Common Market Protocol especially on issues related to labour and employment. 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. May I take this opportunity to sincerely thank my colleagues, members of EATUC Summit for their support to my leadership and their commitment to EATUC affairs. I also take this opportunity to thank all our cooperating partners (FES, ILO, LO-FTF, LO-Norway and Solidarity Center) for their enormous contribution to EATUC and the entire trade union movement in the region.
Lastly I wish to appreciate EATUC Committee of Experts and the Secretariat for their 3 dedication and hard work in promoting an advocating for EATUC agenda and its activities notwithstanding the meager resources we had. This is the end of the beginning, we have achieved a lot for the last five years but still we have enormous challenges before us at this critical stage of the implementation of the EAC Common Market Protocol. I am very much optimistic that if keep this momentum we will achieve more in the next five years.
God bless EATUC, God Bless us all,
In Solidarity yours,
Br. Francis Atwoli,
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