During last week’s ITF mapping workshop, leaders of the Amalgamated Transport & General Workers’ Union (ATGWU) and leaders of five associations of informal transport workers in Uganda held a press conference to announce that the informal associations had affiliated to the union. The news was widely reported on Ugandan TV.
Prior to signing agreements with each of the associations, ATGWU General Secretary Aziz Kriirya declared that this “Marks a new beginning in ATGWUs’ efforts to ensure decent work for all. While we can do our best to resist the erosion of decent work, we will never win without organizing those transport workers who are already in precarious and informal work. If we fail to organize, unions like ATGWU will simply become more and more marginal, powerless, and irrelevant to the working lives of the vast majority of transport workers”.
ATGWU Chair Nelson Owere explained the importance of these new affiliations, especially in the context of defending workers’ rights, and the important discussions on transforming informal work to decent work during this year’s ILO International Labour Conference.
The five associations include long-distance bus drivers, airport taxis, airport casual labourers, and cargo transporters, along with workers organised through an association of those living with HIV-AIDS.
The ATGWU is one of the ITF informal workers’ project mentor unions.