Pacific workers Unions on the move

By Natasha Schmidt ,

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STRENGTHENING RIGHTS AND VOICES: Government officials, I.L.O representatives and participants at the training.

STRENGTHENING RIGHTS AND VOICES: Government officials, I.L.O representatives and participants at the training.

The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Labour, Lautafi Fio Purcell, opened a key training involving workers’ Union representatives from the region at Orator Hotel on Monday.

The three-day meeting is being organised by the International Labour Organization (I.L.O) Office and the Samoa Workers Congress. “I encourage committing and increasing the promotion of youth and women in union activities,” said Minister Lautafi.  “I encourage you to continue the momentum and commitment in order to be truly active in strengthening the capacities in unions and the Pacific, and that the workers are well represented, their rights are respected and their voices are heard.”

The training is designed to strengthened capacities of the unions in Pacific by promoting freedom of association and decent work through effective organizing strategies and leadership skills. This will contribute to: 

• Increased understanding of the re-established Samoa Workers Congress  to effectively make contributions to policy reform agenda of the social partners 

• Strengthen trade union structures through the promotion of freedom of association and organizing campaigns 

• Enhance the capacities of union to develop negotiators and educators  as leaders to promote collective bargaining, decent work and foster communication exchange and networking amongst unions for organizing and actions for decent work in Pacific  The training is being attended by young union activists and leaders in selected countries of the Pacific region - members of National Executive committee /Women’s Committee of national or industrial unions, and staff involved in organising and education.  

Participants are from unions in Cook Islands, Fiji, Tonga, PNG, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

The training is facilitated by the I.L.O Workers Specialist; Jotika Sushil Gounder from Regional Office for Asia Pacific (ROAP) in Bangkok, with assistance from I.L.O National Coordinator for Samoa; Tomasi Peni, and the president of Samoa Workers Congress; Gatoloai Tilianamua Afamasaga. 

© Samoa Observer 2016

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