Video on organizing EPZ workers released in Arabic
IMF video in Arabic on organising workers in Export Processing Zones launched at Seminar held at Berrchid, Morocco, on workers’ rights.
MOROCCO: Shop stewards and union organizers from Leoni and other companies in the electronic industry in the industrial area of Berrshid, Morocco, met on May 18 to discuss strategies to organize workers at multinational companies and their suppliers.
The seminar addressed in particular the needs and problems of women who represent a fast growing percentage of the workforce in Maghreb. The IMF, in close collaboration with its affiliates in North African and European countries, is promoting coordination and networking among workers' representatives and local unions with a view to increase solidarity and concrete collaboration. Materials for workers' education have been produced in Arabic, with special attention to the needs of workers in Export Processing Zones.
Shop stewards from Leoni reported about their collective bargaining activity and achievements. Regional coordination has developed over the past two years between the local unions at Leoni sites in Tunisia and Morocco, who systematically monitor the implementation of the International Framework Agreement signed by Leoni.
The main issue of concern for metalworkers' unions in Maghreb is the fast growth of precarious employment and the consequent erosion of workers' and trade union rights. Companies, including big multinationals, make massive use of contract arrangements - often at the border line of legality and beyond it - that allow them to employ workers permanently under endlessly renewed temporary contracts. These, like the variety of other precarious jobs, grant much lower conditions of remuneration and poorer social protections, if any at all, than permanent jobs.
Even worse are the very frequent cases of illegal use of arrangements meant for trainees. In Morocco companies hire people massively under the ANAPEC programme - officially supposed to promote the youth first employment and granting companies with extraordinary fiscal and other exemptions - without any respect for the programme required conditions. Instead of a path to employment this results only in permanently precarious jobs for overexploited workers.
The video showcases the organizing strategies that Indonesian unions are using to organize workers, particularly women, in Export Processing Zones. The video can be viewed on IMF's YouTube page and the IMF website here..May 25, 2010 – Carla Coletti