OATUU Secretary-General highlights decline in union freedom in some African countries at 110th session of ILC

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The Secretary-General of the Organisation of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU), Mr. Arezki Mezhoud has highlighted a decline in union freedom in some African countries at the 110th session of the International Labour Conference (ILC) in Switzerland, Geneva. He cited the case of Sudan where the oldest union has been dissolved, contrary to international laws and conventions. He expressed his hope for the reinstation of the union.

Touching on challenges facing the African continent, Mr. Mezhoud emphasised the adverse effects of the Russian-Ukrainian war, highlighting a reduction in workers’ purchasing power and development in general. He stated that the situation had raised a lot more uncertainty over the future of workers and would further exacerbate already existing inequalities.

He called on the ILO to build the capacity of social partners who he believes have a major role to play in ensuring recovery, through the promotion of social dialogue. He also entreated the ILO to ensure respect for international labour standards, especially those related to fundamental rights at work, union rights, collective bargaining and protection for workers’ representatives.