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					Action Plan

Gerrit Stoop
FEDUSA, South Africa
TITLE OF ACTION PLAN: THE CREATION OF AWARENESS ON ILS
AMONGST TRADE UNIONS OF THE FEDERATION, AND ASSISTANCE IN
DESIGNING FRAMEWORKS FOR DEALING WITH ILS AT THE UNION AND
FEDERATION LEVEL

1.   Background

     The perception amongst individual trade unions and many trade unionists in
     South Africa is largely that the ILO and International Labour Standards (ILS)
     are something distant and obscure, and that ILS, and the various processes
     involved therein, are purely for the attention of a few bureaucrats in the
     Department of Labour, or certain individuals employed by Head Offices of
     trade union federations. Also, some senior officials at trade union offices
     and many persons in leadership positions of unions, are not fully aware of
     the processes involved in the setting and monitoring of ILS, or of the crucial
     role unions could play in these processes. These unions then very often
     leave it entirely up to the Federation to deal with the various processes
     involved, and hardly ever work pro-actively towards involving itself therein.
     Even when asked to reflect reactively on issues, they often neglect issues
     pertaining to the ILO and ILS.

     The result of this is that ILS are often dealt with in a somewhat haphazard
     and ad hoc fashion, as opposed to a systematic approach. Very often no
     framework for action exists, and there is not always an official or officials
     allocated to the task of dealing with matters related to the ILO, and more
     specifically, ILS. Most common is the trend to act reactively rather than pro-
     actively, in other words to wait until requests are received from the ILO
     before any action whatsoever is taken.

     The wide array of available publications, the ILO website, and other
     documentation, are also not always utilised to their fullest possible extent by
     trade unions in South Africa. More specifically, there exist a lot of very
     authoritative publications that unions can use on the so-called “core
     conventions” of the ILO, also contained in the ILO Declaration on
     Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. The core conventions deal with
     the following rights, namely:

     (a)   Freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to
           collective bargaining;
     (b)   The elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour;
     (c)   The effective abolition of child labour; and
                                           2

     (d)      The elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and
              occupation.

     Peripheral (though not necessarily lesser or unimportant) issues for trade
     unions in South Africa emanating from discussions on matters related to ILS
     are the following:

      Organising the unorganized in the country, specifically the fast-growing
       informal economy under the auspices of FEDUSA.
      Utilisation of technology by trade unions, especially the use of the
       Internet.
      Co-operation between trade unions and federations on various levels and
       on a variety of issues.
      Codes of practice of unions in dealing with the effect of HIV/AIDS in the
       workplace.
      Gender issues and the total eradication of discrimination in this regard.

     Although these issues are not part of the objectives of this action plan, they
     nonetheless have to be dealt with as priority issues on a variety of levels and
     in a number of manners within the Federation. The author of this action plan
     therefore undertakes to engage in discussion with the General Secretary of
     FEDUSA, in order to ensure that the 5 issues mentioned above are placed
     on the agendas of relevant committees (if not already there) for thorough
     discussion.

2.   Target groups

     The target groups of this action plan are the following:

            The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) as an
             organisation, both on leadership level and the level of officials.
            Trade unions affiliated to FEDUSA.
            Members of the trade unions affiliated to FEDUSA, specifically the
             leadership and members appointed/nominated to represent unions at
             various forums, as well as those who would be involved in the training
             of members on various related aspects.

3.   Objectives

     3.1      Immediate objectives

              The immediate objectives of this action plan are to:

                  create awareness amongst affiliated unions on the substance
                   and processes of ILS, and the role unions can play therein
                                                 3

                      create an information land data base relating to the matter of
                       ILS that will be easily accessible and well-resourced.

       3.2    Long-term objectives

              The long-term objectives of this action plan are to:

                      attempt to assist in putting into effect certain systematic ways
                       and means of dealing with ILS at the Federation level.
                      attempt to assist in guiding unions towards designing their own
                       frameworks for action for dealing with matters related to ILS.

4.     Plan of Action

      Objective                Person/s or             Action to be taken             Final date
                               organisation
                                 involved
1. Creation of            Gerrit Stoop/General       In collaboration with the   31 July 2003
awareness amongst         Secretary/National         GS of FEDUSA and the
unions                    Training Officer           National Training
                                                     Officer, Mr Denis
                                                     George, design and
                                                     distribute a
                                                     comprehensive
                                                     information guide for
                                                     use by affiliated unions.
2. Creation of a data     Gerrit Stoop/General       1. Index and store the      As soon as
base and information      Secretary/National         documentation centrally,    documents arrive in
base                      Training Officer           with the view to adding     South Africa.
                                                     regularly.
                                                     2. Make ILO website
                                                     address widely available
                                                     to affiliated unions:
                                                     www.ilo.org and
                                                     www.itcilo.it.
3. Creation of a          Gerrit Stoop/General       Set up a meeting/-          Meet before 31 July
system for dealing        Secretary/National         workshop with GS and        2003. Framework
with ILS within           Training Officer           the National Training       before 31 December
FEDUSA.                                              Officer of FEDUSA, Mr       2003.
                                                     Denis George, to
                                                     discuss the drafting of a
                                                     framework for dealing
                                                     with all matters
                                                     concerning the ILO, with
                                                     the view to drafting
                                                     formal FEDUSA policy.
4. Assistance to          Gerrit Stoop/General       In collaboration with the   Meet before 31 July
affiliated unions in      Secretary/National         National Training Officer   2003.
designing frameworks      Training Officer.          of FEDUSA, Mr Denis
for action on ILS.                                   George, design or
                                                     revise the training
                                                     module on ILS and
                                          4

       Objective          Person/s or           Action to be taken        Final date
                          organisation
                            involved
                                              design a training
                                              schedule. Include
                                              guidelines for individual
                                              frameworks for action.


5.      Financial implications


 This action plan will have very little immediate financial implications.
 The cost of the design of the information guide will be minimal, and will be
     borne by the author’s union. The cost of the distribution of the guide will be
     covered by affiliated unions themselves.
 The training workshop/s on ILS will have to be conducted within the current
  FEDUSA budget for training. If these funds are insufficient, the training will have
  to stand over until the 2004 financial year.

				
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