Two women delegates from unions participating in the IUF Global Sugar project in East and Southern Africa attended the Canadian Labour Congress Summer School 2012, from July 15-27 in Port Elgin, Ontario.
The invitation to the Kenya Union of Sugar Agricultural Plantation Workers (KUSPW) and the Food and Allied Workers Union (FAWU) from South Africa, came thanks to the good auspices of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW) and the CLC. The delegates were Miriam Wanyama, KUSPW, and Nelisiwe Nxumalo, FAWU.
Miriam is the Secretary for the union’s Women Committee and Chairperson for the Women Committee at the Nzoni Sugar Estate, where she works as a clerk at the estate Training Centre. Miriam is also a Workers Educator in a COTU/PANAF Study circle Workers Education program. COTU is the Central Organization of Trade Unions COTU (Kenya).
Nelisiwe works at the Sezela Mill, owned by Illovo Sugar near Durban. She works as a Process Panel Operator at the mill, where she is the first female shop steward. She did her training at the Durban University of Technology and the Shukela Training Centre.
Miriam and Nelisiwe attended courses on Occupational Health and Safety, Women in Leadership and Instructor Training, and also made presentations to plenary sessions on the impact of the IUF Global Sugar project on the work of their union. They committed themselves to share their Canadian experience back home, and, making use of their newly acquired skills, to proactively participate in the IUF Sugar project’s activities with their union. The IUF Global Sugar Co-ordinator also participated in the OHS training.