Twenty women members of FAWU’s sugar sector met from 11-13 October in Durban for a workshop on Gender, which also counted with the participation of two delegates from Swaziland’s SAPWU and Mozambique’s SINTIA.
The agenda stressed the importance of integrating a Gender perspective as well as women workers in the union’s sugar work and leadership. The participants discussed Gender Issues, Labour Legislation (Equity in the Workplace Act), the National Sugar Bargaining Council, under which sector-wide negotiations take place, and discussed future work of FAWU in relation to women workers, among several issues. A COSATU officer made a presentation on the confederation’s gender policy and work.
The IUF Global Sugar contributed to the workshop with the participation of the Swazi and Mozambican delegates, who presented their unions’ work with women workers, and with information on Maternity Protection in the Sugar Sector, a topic highlighted in the work of IUF Global Sugar.
The workshop was a joint effort by FAWU-KwaZulu Natal region and the IUF Global Sugar project in East and Southern Africa, under which the workshop was initially agreed at a sub-regional meeting held in Feb. 2010 in Big Bend, Swaziland.
Visit to FAWU members in Sezela
An integral part of the IUF Global Sugar activities is the creation of union contacts with direct contact with grass-root members and workers. The overseas delegates to FAWU/IUF Global Sugar Gender Workshop were received by the FAWU members in Sezela factory, near Durban, on 12 Oct. The meeting was followed by a tour of the factory.
Overseas delegates and members of FAWU Sezela Committee
Overseas delegates and FAWU members in Sezela
Work with SAPWU in Swaziland – Following the Durban workshop, the IUF Global Sugar Coordinator visited SAPWU in Swaziland. Main efforts by the union are geared towards sector-wide negotiations, to allow coordination and homogenisation of terms and conditions. A visit to the EU delegation in Swaziland resumed the IUF and the union’s contacts around the EU/Swaziland sugar programs under the EU Accompanying Measures for the Sugar Protocol Countries (AMSP).