My last activity as an IUF staff was to attend a sugar and a palm oil workshops organised by the Colombian agricultural workers union, Sintrainagro, and by the IUF Latin America regional organisation (Rel UITA) in Cali (sugar) and Santa Marta (palm oil) from 8-12 October. The workshops showed Sintrainagro as a strong union organisation with the capacity to bring together to discuss national strategies with representatives from the employers and government officials directly involved in the running of these two crucial agricultural sectors in Colombia.
Personally, it was rewarding to see how unions deal with important issues around protecting employment and supporting national production, keeping in mind the concerns of the workers and the general population that depends on these sectors. Rel UITA has posted several articles related to these workshops on their web site (www.rel-uita.org/) that are worthwhile reading and commenting, particularly by unions in sugar (and in palm oil) with whom I have been working in the past decades.
All good things must come to an end goes the saying, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have developed my initial NGO-type of concern and support to sugar workers unions (1984-1997) into a more organic job through an international global union as the IUF (1999-2018).
As a good friend once told me, “once in sugar, always in sugar,” I hope to continue in contact with the unions and providing, whenever possible, my support.
Finally, please update your contact lists with my new e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
All the best,