By Havyarimana Moses
The East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) has kicked-started a two-day meeting in Bujumbura, Burundi to review workers and employers status in the regional integration process and how to further push their interests under the East African Common Market Protocol.
The East African Trade Union Confederation (EATUC) remains one of the most vibrant Sub-regional trade union organization that has been pushing for inclusion of social agenda in the region integration process said Mr Francis Atwoli, Chairman of EATUC while addressing the meeting.
He added: “EATUC developed a social and employment charter which was presented in various meetings of the East African Community (EAC) as our position as far as labour and employment issues are concerned, most of the proposals raised by EATUC were taken on board in Article Ten on free movement of workers in the Common Market Protocol,” he added.
This underscores EACTU’s efforts and commitment to improve and strengthen linkages that are necessary for ensuring her activities are properly formulated so that the intended outputs and outcomes can be realized in a coherent manner, according to Atwoli.
Burundian government is fully engaged in supporting the social dialogues between social partners and has already ratified all the eight fundamental conventions of the International Labour Organization most especially on the social dialogues, said Leonard Kayobera, Permanent Secretary of the Burundi Labour Ministry.
“The problem of the social dialogue and creating a favourable and conducive environment is one of the government’s priorities” he told the delegates, which included invited trade unionists from south and western Africa.
Under the social charter, Partner States shall create an enabling environment so that fundamental principles and rights at work will be respected, promoted and realized.
Tripartite collaboration and social dialogue through constant and constructive communications with the most representative employers and worker’s organizations shall be an essential element in the integration process.
Burundi’s Employer’s representative Mr Theodore Kamwenubusa emphasized how the social dialogue still play a pivotal role in the community development and the promotion of its desire for social progress.
An integrated, time-bound operational plan that might enable EACTU to have a clear vision in influencing the social dimensions of the EAC regional integration could reflect a new face of workers and employers in East Africa.