BWI OnLine – April 28, 2009

Mauritius: CMWEU mobilises for IWMD

We are having a Press Conference in the morning of Tuesday 28th on the issue of Health and Safety. In the afternoon we have a seminar with our union delegates to commemorate this special day. Workers of the private sector are facing problems since the promulgation of two new labour laws which offer no protection to them. Things have been moving a lot here since the 2nd of February 2009. We have already held 4 big pacific demonstrations which have seen the participation of over 8,000 workers each time. Yesterday we held the first long march against these laws about 10 kms which took us about 5 hours. We still have a long way to go, now we have programmed to unite workers of the country for the Labour Day.


BWI forestry project in Kenya provides lessons for BBC documentation on Green jobs

The BWI forestry site in Webuye in western Kenya has continued to be a centre for learning on nursery development and sustainable forest management. On 16th and 17th April 2009 the site hosted BBC crew team working on documentation of green jobs.

The BBC team documented the impacts of the project on improvement of livelihoods and poverty reduction, daily experience of rural based communities when accessing the water springs that were developed with the assistance of BWI. Over 1000 households are having access to clean and safe water in the project site in Kenya and Uganda.

Community members including opinion shapers like teachers were interviewed on effects of community forestry and the link with BWI forestry activities. The tree nursery producing about200,000 seedlings per year continue to be source of several tree species useful for water catchment, construction poles and fuelwood production among the rural households.

The nursery employs 5 young organizers , who also advises the communities on importance of sustainable forest management and strengthen links between the Unions and actors in the sustainable forest management. Through the efforts of the five organizes trained in forestry over 35 community members have benefited in farm forestry/agroforestry systems in the project site.

The BBC documentation further captured the effect of financial crisis on one of the paper industry, that is the Pan Paper Mils Ltd situated in the project site, Kenya Paper Union an affiliate of BWI fears that it may loss 1500 of its members who are based in the industry unless government rescues the industry.

Also interviewed was the BWI East Africa coordinator, Paul Opanga who provided insights on the link between green forestry jobs, water resources and decent living and working conditions.

The BBC documentation is expected to be ready in early June.


Unions in Philippines Focus on Asbestos Campaign

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) will join the Associated Labour Unions (ALU-TUCP), and the Building Woodworkers International (BWI) to observe 28 April International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers (ICD) and to develop a national program for the elimimination of asbestos related diseases.

A one day meeting in Manila will bring trade unionists together to discuss asbestos diseases and alternatives to the us of asbestos, culminating in a candle lighting ceremony to commemorate workers who have died in the philoppines over the last year.


Nepalese Woodworkers Take The Lead for 28April

The Building and Wood Workers’ International of Nepal will be organising 28 April 2009 with an event that will include Assembly member and General-Secretary of Nepal Trade Union Congress-Independent (NTUC-I).

Just three years ago the international trade union movement welcomed new signs of a return to democracy in Nepal, following the climb down by King Gyanendra in the face of several days of strike action and massive protests, involving tens of thousands of people. Following the King’s seizure of power in February 2005, the country’s main trade union organisations (DECONT, GEFONT and NTUC) were at the centre of a broad civil society alliance which forced the King to reinstatement of parliament.