Canada: IUF Sugar Africa unions attend the CLC Summer School 2012

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.

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  1. Dear Brother,
    Congratulations for the success of the summer school . This is going to empower our union throgh sister Miriam Wanyama. We also pray that in future , another chance comes our way so that another participant can get the opportunity to attend.
    In solidarity,
    Lincoln Aveza, KUSPAW, Kenya

    • Tumwesiga Joyce on July 31, 2012 at 9:13 am

    This is so far so good for sugar workers in East and South Africa to interact and share experience with our brothers and sisters in Canada. This will not only strengthen the skills in addressing OHS issues, but will also help to improve on other IUF global sugar activities in the African region. Sincere appreciation goes to CAW for their support and we wish that this kind of support is extended to other colleagues.

    Aluta continua.

    • oloo norbert on July 31, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    We are pleased to be part of IUF and the relations that are building up each day between KUSPAW and the Canadian Auto Workers. As an Educator both at the union level and at the national labour center am very happy that Kenya gained from the Canadian Labour Congress Summer School. We are going to involve Miriam much more in KUSPAW’s education activities so that we can maximize on the skills she acquired from the summer school. This has come at the most opportune moment in the history of KUSPAW as the union is in the initial stages of developing an OHS&E policy. The skills will be needed in the sensitization process of the policy.
    We thank the IUF and the Canadian Auto workers.Special thanks goes to the IUF Global Sugar project in Africa.
    Norbert Oloo, KUSPAW, Kenya.

    • Renice Ojowi on August 2, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Thanks to the IUF for looking deep into women workers by giving them this opportunity to attend the CLC Summer School and acquire knowledge and skills to fight back for their health at their rural workplaces.

    We at KUSPW are impressed that Miriam Wanyama being a Workers Educator in COTU/PANAF Study Circle under COTU (K) , COTU (K) being an umbrella body for workers, will pass the knowledge and skills she has achieved in the training not only to KUSPW but to other union workers as well.

    This also looks into gender sensitivity at workplaces.

    Renice Ojowi.

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