ACFTU and OATUU resolve to pursue stronger future relations

The All-China Federation Trade Union (ACFTU) and the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) have expressed their commitment to pursue stronger ties in the future, following a virtual meeting held on 1st April 2021. This move is in hopes of establishing a robust cooperation between African and Chinese trade unions which will facilitate efforts to promote development in a post-Covid environment.

Addressing representatives of both organisations, the Secretary-General of OATUU, Mr. Arezki Mezhoud highlighted the fruitful relationship that had been enjoyed so far and vowed OATUU’s support for ACFTU. He acknowledged the disruption in trade union activities due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but stressed the importance of these institutions, especially in this period of unprecedented challenges.

He also touched on youth and gender issues and proposed that a critical look be given to these areas, since research indicates that majority of women and young people in Africa have been hit the hardest by this pandemic. Mr. Mezhoud also seized the opportunity to draw attention to the plight of Sudanese workers, following the continuous persecution of the Sudanese Workers’ Trade Union Federation (SWTUF) by the transitional government. He called on ACFTU to help garner international attention to the issue in order to resolve it.

On the issue of vaccines, Mr. Mezhoud urged the All-China Federation Trade Union to advocate for the equitable distribution of Covid-19 vaccines, which would benefit not only African workers, but their families as well.

Taking the floor, the Vice-Chairman and National Secretary of ACFTU, Mr. Jiang Guangping noted that gender and youth issues in Africa need to be prioritised and pledged that the future plans of ACFTU would factor in these concerns. Mr. Guangping also promised to support OATUU in its fight to restore the SWTUF and revealed plans by the Chinese government to support the Covid-19 fight in Africa by providing vaccines.

At the end of the meeting, Mr. Guangping thanked the leadership of OATUU for the role they play in enhancing Chinese-African labour relations and reassured the organisation of ACFTU’s continued support.