Samoa Workers Union tackles the challenges
The Samoa Workers Congress (S.W.C.) is on the move to make a difference.
It has just completed a successful Leadership in Union and Social Dialogue workshop.
Held last week, the training focussed on identifying the skills and processes necessary for a union leader to lead effectively. It was also to develop an understanding of social dialogue, its processes and its benefits.
The participants came from the Samoa First Union, Samoa Ports Authority Staff Association, Development Bank of Samoa Staff Association, Samoa National Provident Fund Staff Association, Samoa Nurses Association, Samoa National Teachers Association, Samoa Qualifications Authority Staff Association and Fire and Emergency Services Authority Staff Association.
The Main facilitator was Gatoloai Tili Afamasaga. She was assisted by other presenters from different sectors including I.L.O. National Coordinator for Samoa and Manager of Women In Leadership Project with UN Women.
Their presentations focussed on the links between the work plan of S.W.C. under the Samoa Decent Work Country Programme and other critical issues.
S.W.C. was established in March 2014 as the umbrella body for all workers unions and associations, both in the public and private sector.
As of February 2018, S.W.C. had seven affiliates representing a total of 4,100 workers, up from six affiliates and 3000 workers two years ago.
According to a statement from the Group, the challenge now is to organise workers to ensure that union leaders in their workplaces understand their crucial role as leaders, organisers, problem solvers, communicators, and educators to ensure they protect the interests of their members and enforce labour standards.
“Union leaders must also ensure their representation at all levels, to give them a voice to dialogue with employers and government to ensure the improvement of working conditions, equitable labour laws and most of all a secure living.
“There is a great need to build the capacity of not only S.W.C. but workers from other entities to enable them to organise themselves and to see the benefits that will flow. This proposal for a workshop will address this need.”