[Documents menu] Documents menu

From bounce-icftu-online-7984@forum.icftu.org Thu Nov 29 10:00:13 2001
From: ICFTU Press <press@icftu.org>
To: ICFTU Online <icftu-online@forum.icftu.org>
Subject: ICFTU Online: Maghreb
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2001 14:14:55 +0100
Reply-To: ICFTU Online <icftu-online@forum.icftu.org>

ICFTU-USTMA Declaration Enhanced co-operation with the Maghreb

ICFTU OnLine..., 193/291101/JL, 29 November 2001

Brussels November 29, 2001 (ICFTU OnLine): The signing of a joint declaration by ICFTU Secretary General Bill Jordan and his newly elected counterpart at the Trade Union Confederation of Arab Magreb Workers (USTMA), Habib Besbes, marks a new phase of increased co-operation and strengthened links between the two organisations.

The 27 November declaration states that the ICFTU and the USTMA will intensify their co-operation with a view to promoting international trade union solidarity in general and deepen free and democratic trade unionism in Maghreb in particular.

Habib Besbes had earlier indicated that the greatest obstacles to development in the region were the high level of unemployment and the growing influence of multinationals, in combination with the economic policy dictated by the international financial institutions.

The new co-operation will include ICFTU support of USTMA organised mobilisation and training of trade unions. The declaration also affirms that the ICFTU will investigate the possibility of involving USTMA in activities in Maghreb led by ICFTUs African regional organisation (AFRO). This will include issues arising from the millennium review.

The USTMA was formed in Casablanca in April 1991 with a view to increasing the unity between the trade unions in the Maghreb states. At present, the USTMA comprises of four ICFTU affiliates, the Tunisian General Workers Union (UGTT) the Algerian General Workers Union (UGTA), the Moroccan Workers Union (UMT) and the Union of Mauritanian Workers (UTM).

In line with the priorities re-iterated at the recently concluded ICFTU executive committee, the USTMA places an emphasis on women’s rights. Habib Besbes explained we are a progressive organisation that places a very strong importance on the rights of women workers, as they must, and shall, play a greater role in the future of the Maghreb trade union movement.

The declaration also underlined that following the 3rd USTMA Congress which took place in Tunis in July this year, in addition to the election of Habib Besbes, Abdelmajid Sidi Said (from the Algerian UGTA) and Abdelhamid Achour were re-elected as President and Executive Director respectively.