GLU Alumni Workshop 2019 in Zimbabwe

Day 5 – Friday 20th September 2019

Contributor:   Taurai Mereki
Editing:            Maurine Chadi Kalume

The fifth and last day of the workshop was devoted to the alumni themselves. In the first session of the morning, three alumni made presentations highlighting on precarity as a condition of life and base of collective politics grounded on country studies. The rest of the day was devoted to the alumni meeting and strengthening of the ‘loose’ GLU Africa Alumni Network.

IMG_4931 KopieThis panel discussion titled ‘Resistance in the face of precarious work and life: The African experience –precarity as a condition of life and base of collective politics’ was an all alumni panel chaired by Iipumbu Sakaria from the National Planning Commission of Namibia and the panelist were Mpho Shadreck Maruping from Directorate of Public Service Management of Botswana, Maureen Kalume – Kenya Union of Domestic Hotels, Educational Institution, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA) and Dr. Janet Munakamwe from University of the Witwatersrand and Zimbabwe Institute for socio-Economic and Labour Research (ZISELaR).

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GLU Alumni Workshop 2019 in Zimbabwe

Day 4: Thursday 19th September 2019

Contributor:   Gift Maoneka
Editing:            Maurine Chadi Kalume

This day was reserved for alumni excursion. This gave participants an opportunity to tour the city of Harare. The journey started at 9:00hrs with a bus drive through the middle of Harare Central Business District in route to our first destination, the second-hand informal traders’ site at Coca Cola situated just outside the CBD along Seke Road. The site is known as ‘Coca Cola’ because of its proximity to the transnational company Coca Cola.

IMG_4993 KopieVolunteer tour guides, Gift Maoneka, Fungai Munetsi and Nunurayi Mutyada took turns to explain how the informal traders were formerly allocated trading sites by the city council in the CBD before being violently removed by the municipal police through an operation called “Restore Order.” The sight of informal traders using makeshift shelters and sharing a single toilet clearly shows that the allocated place is not suitable for trading. The site is shared by over 500 traders and is highly politicised. Traders align themselves to the ruling political party ZANU PF in order to secure their trading places. Traders pay rentals to both the city council and to the political party structure at the site.

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GLU Alumni Workshop 2019 in Zimbabwe

Day 3: Wednesday 18th September 2019

Contributor:   Taurai Mereki
Editing:            Maurine Chadi Kalume

On the third day, the morning session began with a presentation on GLU online academy; popularly referred to as MOOCs and tutoring via skype by Dr. Edlira Xhafa and a presentation from by Mrs Aulline Chapisa the Programmes Coordinator of Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) Zimbabwe office. This was followed by vibrant afternoon session’s presentations by three alumni from Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria who reflected on the fourth Industrial revolution and how it affects changes of work and governance in Africa. The last discussion of the day was led by Taurai Mereki and it highlighted on why there was need to have a Regional Africa alumni network.

IMG_4991 KopieThe first session was a skype conference on GLU Online Academy: MOOCs and tutoring by Dr. Edlira Xhafa and was facilitated by Prof Praveen Jha of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The session generated a lot of interest from the audience and it proved to be a huge success. Some of the key points raised on MOOCs were; Continue reading

GLU Alumni Workshop 2019 in Zimbabwe

Day 2: Tuesday 17th September 2019

Contributor:   Taurai Mereki
Editing:            Maurine Chadi Kalume

Day two was a special day as it had a mix of academics, local trade unionists and alumni. It began with presentations on the future of work from a panel mainly composed of alumni. The next session was on labour and social justice and it was predominantly comprised of local trade unionists. The first session after lunch comprised of trade unionists, academics and alumni. The last session was predominantly alumni and was chaired by an alumnus. The day ended on a high note.

IMG_4935 KopieThe first session was a panel discussion on ‘Africa and the future of work – Reflections on the future of work in the sharing economy’ chaired by Daniel Oberko – Public Services International and the speakers were Edwin Anisha – Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies, Babatunde Aiyelabola – Public Services International (PSI), and Prof. Praveen Jha – Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). The main highlights of the presentations were that the pattern of employment has moved from employment rights to flexibility over the past three to four decades. They further highlighted that employment is now constrained with no dependable job security, career mobility/growth or training and employer’s good will. Jobs are now non-permanent, done in irregular places and sites with no clear or direct employer, thus the future of work might actually be the future of no work. Capital in the north is also partnering with capital in the south thus posing challenges for the working class. It was also highlighted that cellphone parts are produced in 8 countries and assembled in one country. Therefore capital mobility has implication on nature of work. Other major highlights were as follows; Continue reading

GLU Alumni Workshop 2019 in Zimbabwe

DAY ONE: 16th September 2019

Contributors:   Muttaqa Yusha’u, Janet Munakamwe and Tecla Masamba
Editing:             Maurine Chadi Kalume

Opening Remarks:

Mr. Michael Kandukutu who is the Director of Organising for the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) and an alumnus of the ENGAGE Programme welcomed all to the workshop and shared basic information with regards to the venue and social services. Standing in for the Secretary General of ZCTU, Mr Sylvester Mutindindi, the Deputy Secretary General, officially opened the workshop and acknowledged the theme of the workshop which took into account previous debates which remain relevant in the context of Zimbabwe. In his speech, he highlighted the key challenges faced by trade unions in Zimbabwe and the entire global south. In particular, he lamented about the ever-declining economy, high inflation and how this has resulted in what he coined “wage theft”. He went on to explain how workers continue to suffer beyond ESAP as he was quoted saying:

“Today, as unions we are at a crossroads of neoliberalism as introduced in the 1990s; our government has re-introduced it through the backdoor as we witness retrenchments both in private and public services including commodification of basic goods such as health. In other words, our previous experience of ESAP was disastrous!”

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GLU Alumni Workshop 2019 in Zimbabwe

Introduction

Written by Taurai Mereki

The topic for the GLU workshop was ‘Neo-liberal capitalism’s resurgence, and the prospect for a counter-movement in the Global South’. The workshop was held from the 16th to the 20th of September 2019 at the Cresta Jameson Hotel in Harare, Zimbabwe. As the theme suggests the aim of the workshop target was to bring together trade unionists from the global south in a regional workshop to enhance solidarity against capitalism.

IMG_4934 KopieBeing one of its kind; the conference brought together 38 participants from all over Africa to discuss thematic issues affecting the labor movement in the Global south. It drew strength from the already existing network created by the Global Labour University programs to develop a think tank for labor in Africa. The workshop also served as a platform for sharing best practices across the region in opposition to capital. Thus, the workshop was structured in sessions where the panellists delivered presentations on the topics for the day which led to open forums and discussions.

GLU Alumni Summer School 2019 in Germany

Day 4 – Thursday, 4th April

Written by Gaye Yilmaz

The fourth and last day of the summer school was devoted to the words and experiences directly from alumni themselves. In the morning session four alumni made brief presentations on strikes and resistances from their countries. A successful PSI campaign for the right to health, the Chineese labour crackdown and recent conditions of Brazilian laborers were among them. This was followed by the One World Seminar where five alumni from Nepal, Kenya, Brazil, Zimbabwe and Argentina shared both political conditions and social and political struggles in their countries.

The successful PSI campaign called “My health is not for sale” was presented by alumni Baba Aye from Nigeria. The PSI campaign was based on

  • – Resolution of 29th World Congress, Durban 2012
  • – SDGs and ComHEEG
  • – PSI Global Health and Social Care Task Force (HSSTF) meeting and 12/12/2016 launch of the PSI Human Right to Health Global Campaign which was supported by outside organizations such as sister trade unions outside the health and social sector, Civil Society Organisations committed to public health and health workers’ rights Patients organisations, international, regional and national forums, Progressive minded academics/organic intellectuals. The partial success and failures of the campaign can be summarized as follows:

a) The Right to Health newsletter launched in the second half of 2017 as a bi-monthly

b) Some challenges faced, but has been resilient

c) Changing nature of its use – more focus on policy, without distracting from its more “newsy” role

d) Flowing from the 2018 HSSTF resolution, will be quarterly as well

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