Kampala – Workers Representative in Parliament Arinaitwe Rwakajara has called for a collaborative alliance between workers’ unions and community organizations to address the challenges affecting Ugandan workers.
“As Uganda continues to integrate into the global economy, capitalism comes to the forefront through Globalization and Multinational Corporations. There is increased interdependence of the world’s economies, cultures, and populations. This in the end leads to liberalization, where states reduce restrictions on social, political, and economic policies and encourage greater participation by private entities,” says Rwakajara. Under such environments, he notes, the Capitalists plan aggressively how to maximize profits and the first victim of this plan is a worker.
He wants the workers’ unions to adopt the Social Movement Unionism approach which builds alliances with other social movements such as environmentalists, women’s rights groups, civil society organizations, and political groups among others.
Rwakajara noted that by working together, these groups will exert pressure on governments and employers to address the social and economic injustices of the workers.
The MP made the remarks during a consultative meeting for the 3rd cohort of Union leaders held at Serena Hotel Kampala on Friday.
Usher Owere the Chairperson General Emeritus of the National Organization of Trade Unions (NOTU) welcomed the approach noting, “We are now dealing with multinationals, they have money and they have the clout, there’s no way you can counter that unless you are together. Our unity with other forces can liberate us.”
Stephen Ouma Bwire, the General Secretary Uganda Journalists Union (UJU) emphasized the need for all the Unions to rise and support each other in agitating for better working conditions.
“My appeal to the new NOTU leaders is that you support any Union that is undertaking industrial action so that government can listen like it’s being done by COSATU in South Africa otherwise the numbers we are going to build will not be useful,” submitted Ouma during the meeting.