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Union breakthrough in Ugandan Flower sector

Posted to the IUF website 27-Jul-2006

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The National Union of Plantation and Agricultural Workers of Uganda (NUPAW) has just signed an agreement with the Ugandan Flower Exporters Association (UFEA) which recognises NUPAW as " the sole Trade Union representative of workers in the Ugandan Flower Industry". The Agreement covers all 22 members of the Association.

The breakthrough comes after several years of difficult negotiations; NUPAW has been trying to organise workers in the flower sector ever since the industry was established in the late 1990s. Both the ILO's Multi department and IUF have assisted the negotiations, in particular through a series of workshops to create a better understanding between the UFEA and NUPAW.

The agreement gives NUPAW the right to access farms and to contact workers. It also commits the Union, the employers, their national federations and the Ministry of Labour to hold sensitisation programmes for workers on agreed union activities.

The flower sector in Uganda employs 5,000 workers producing mainly for export to European markets.

NUPAW plans, with the assistance of the IUF, to start an organising drive in the sector leading to the establishment of collective bargaining for the sector. ILO has also promised to help with a study of good practice in the sector.