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Date: Wed, 15 Apr 98 16:56:27 CDT
From: "Workers World" <ww@wwpublish.com>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Workers around the world: 4/16/98
Article: 32414
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Message-ID: <bulk.29823.19980416121806@chumbly.math.missouri.edu>

Trade unionists seek protection from globalization

Workers World, 16 April 1998

Meeting in Nairobi from March 30 to April 1, trade unionists from 42 African countries denounced the impact of globalization on the continent and called for protection of basic labor rights. The word "globalization" means the increased penetration of local economies by giant corporations based in Western Europe, the United States and, on a smaller scale, Japan. As these economies are drawn more fully into the imperialist-dominated world market, the big banks demand they remove subsidies and social measures that protect the poor.

The African Regional Organization of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions sponsored the meeting. AFRO General Secretary Andrew Kailembo told the meeting that "unless the global market is reoriented, economic development will continue to benefit just a few multinationals. The multinational corporations will increase their trade and investments in developing countries, but the ordinary people and the countries in which they operate will get next to nothing."

The conference will demand basic worker rights such as the right for trade unions to engage in collective bargaining, a ban on child labor and non-discrimination in employment.

According to some delegates, there are 80 million child laborers in Africa between the ages of five and 14 years old.

Kenya’s President Daniel arap Moi opened the conference. It came right after President Bill Clinton toured Africa pushing U.S. investment there.