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Newsletter

Issue 4

Autumn 2008

© War on Want

Helping women factory workers in Honduras defend their rights ‘Employment yes, but with dignity’

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ith the support of NIPSA and organisations such as War on Want and Trocaire, Codemuh (Honduran Women’s Collective) is leading the campaign to reform the occupational health chapter of national labour legislation to improve

the working conditions in Honduran sweatshops. The factories of Honduras are filled with low paid workers, most of whom are young women. Many are single mothers who must support their families on the meagre wages they receive.

Unemployment is high in Honduras, as it is in many other countries in the region, and alternative employment is scarce. This situation has led to the widespread exploitation of workers. (continued on page 3)

Keeping you in touch with the Fund’s progress and Global Issues

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Chairperson’s Foreword Hello, Everyone –

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ince our last issue, the incoming 2008/9 Global Solidarity Committee has met for the first time. At that meeting, Trevor Smyth was elected ViceChairperson while I was elected Chairperson. The names of the full committee appear on page 13. I have been very encouraged by the number of new faces on the committee this year, as I believe this demonstrates the greater awareness being generated about Global Solidarity issues across the membership as a whole. We intend to build on the success of the previous committee and to continue promoting Global Solidarity issues among members. To this end, we’ve arranged to hold another training event - this time in the North West. If you did not get the opportunity to attend the training day in Belfast in April, this is your chance to hear a number of excellent presentations on both Palestine and WaterAid. Information about the event, along with details of how to apply, is on the right hand side of this page. Some of you may be starting to think about organising Branch AGMs. I’m aware that there are innumerable issues currently preoccupying members that you may need to address but, in many ways, we are much more fortunate than many workers around the globe. So, if you would like to invite a Global Solidarity Committee member to speak at your AGM, just give Geraldine Alexander in NIPSA HQ a ring to arrange this. And…don’t forget…we’re still keen to generate funding for the Developing World Fund so if you’ve any bright ideas for fundraising we’d be really pleased to hear from you!

Janette McNulty

Chairperson, NIPSA Global Solidarity Committee

Development Education Training Event

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IPSA’s Global Solidarity Committee is holding a Development Education Training event on 21 November 2008 in the City Hotel Derry focusing on both the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the work of WaterAid. Delegates will learn about the causes of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and hear a first hand account of NIPSA’s Deputy General Secretary’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories. The afternoon session will examine the work of WaterAid towards ending water poverty and the global injustice that causes millions to live without access to clean water and sanitation. Members interested in attending, what promises to be a very thought-provoking event, should email their details to: karen.barrett@nipsa.org.uk

Development Education Training DATE VENUE

TIME THEMES

21 November 2008 City Hotel Derry Queens Quay Londonderry BT48 7AS 10.00 am - 4.15 pm “Palestine” and “WaterAid”

As a NIPSA member YOU can make a difference - join us and see how. Further details available from your Branch Secretary. Ref: 9/08

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Helping women factory workers in Honduras defend their rights (continued from page 1)

Groups that work with women factory workers have documented an array of abuses such as long hours, forced overtime, a lack of basic health and safety conditions, physical violence, denial of social security and employment rights, lack of access to healthcare, no maternity rights and sexual and psychological harassment. Enter Codemuh (Colectiva de Mujeres Hondurenas), which promotes women’s empowerment and active participation in the defence of their rights. In addition, CODEMUH lobbies the Honduran government for better conditions for workers. Working from the basis that information is power, Codemuh’s key strategy for empowering workers is awareness raising and workers training. They teach workers about their individual rights, and also educate them about national and international law, and global trade. And from individual empowerment, they also foster local movements that fight for better working conditions. Codemuh also develops networks of promotoras – women workers who have received sufficient training to be able to advise other workers on their rights. Promotoras not only advise workers on the factory floors, but also work with women in their home communities, because Codemuh believes that women must be empowered to challenge oppression and violence wherever it exists. NIPSA is proud to support Codemuh and factory workers around the world.

Facts V

There are over 130,000 maquila (sweatshop) workers in Honduras, the highest number in Central America.

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Textile companies are attracted to countries like Honduras to exploit the vast pools of cheap labour and maximise profits by exporting garments to US and European markets.

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Unemployment in Honduras is estimated at 28% and the average wage is very low.

Codemuh’s Aims V

To educate and empower women workers so they can defend their own rights

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To train promotoras in international and national law, codes of conduct and international trade.

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To strengthen local movements fighting for protective labour policies and better work conditions.

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To share experiences, co-ordinate actions and articulate a common regional voice against factory workers’ abuses.

Codemuh’s Successes V

Codemuh is working with more than 50 workers to prove that injuries have been caused by working in the factories.

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Two workers’ cases involving serious repetitive strain injuries, for which the factories had previously denied responsibility, have been resolved.

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Codemuh has enabled links between similar organisations to help learn lessons from each other and establish international ties.

Keeping you in touch with the Fund’s progress and Global Issues

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Orungo Youth Integrated Development Organisation - Uganda

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n February 2007 NIPSA agreed to fund, with one of its principal partners, War-on-Want, this three year project totalling £37,500. In this report we learn about the work of the Orungo Youth Integrated Development Organisation (OYIDO) and how the money we donated has assisted in the lives of individuals and families. Uganda has a population of 30.8 million. Latest results published by the World Bank, ranking countries from richest to poorest, ranked Uganda as 166th out of 179, meaning it is the 13th poorest country in the world. In the last year Uganda has suffered setbacks due to the flooding, which took place in September 2007. Many individuals lost their homes and crops were ruined. Support from NIPSA and emergency appeals has helped local communities to overcome these setbacks and work towards getting back to normal everyday life.

OYIDO Update

Individuals trying to salvage their crops during the floods

Bee Keeping Orungo Youth’s success in Bee Keeping has gone from strength to strength. The group are now members of the National Uganda Bee Keeping Association and are sharing knowledge with other local groups interested in keeping bees. They have a steady income from selling the honey, a percentage of which is reinvested into the local community. Members of OYIDO receiving their certificates following a workshop The goal of Orungo Youth Integrated Development Organisation in North Eastern Uganda, is to improve the living conditions of the rural households in the area. The groups undertake activities in poultry farming, fish farming, improved goat rearing, bee keeping and healthcare education, as well as training in financial and agriculture practices. Pictured above are a group of individuals from OYIDO receiving their certificates following completion of a capacity building workshop.

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OYIDO’s Bee Hives

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Improved Goat Rearing Joseph Opire’s life has changed dramatically as a result of the support, training and knowledge he has gained from being part of Orungo Youth. Joseph Opire with his family

Initially Joseph received a goat from Orungo Youth, which he then bread and after a while he found himself with enough goats to trade some for a heifer. Again with the continued support and farming knowledge shared among members of the group, Joseph’s heifers calved and he was in a position to sell 2 in order to raise some funds. Joseph found himself in a financially stable position and was able to use some of his money to get married. Soon after came the arrival of baby Anna, much to the couples delight. As a result of the help and support provided by NIPSA Joseph can now support his family, providing regular meals and healthcare, and helping them to escape the causes of poverty.

Poor Countries held to ransom by the EU

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t was an impossible decision: risk millions of jobs and billions in investments now or hand over the keys to your future. Not the plot of a criminal mastermind: instead the choice faced by many developing countries at the start of 2008. Potentially devastating trade deals called Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) have now been signed between the EU and Caribbean countries, and agreed, in a temporary form, by many nations throughout Africa and the Pacific. Faced with intense pressure from a powerful and determined EU negotiating team these countries had little choice but to comply. President Wade of Senegal gave a clear vote of no confidence on behalf of developing countries when he asked how he could tell his people “We have just signed with Europe a new agreement which eliminates 35% of our budgets. Consequently, we will close down schools, healthcare centres and hospitals, stop road building projects and lay off personnel while waiting for hypothetical compensations!” His country still refuses to sign. The Irish and UK governments were two of only four EU member states to ask for a fairer negotiation process. However, even more action is needed. EU negotiators are continuing to push deals which will damage already vulnerable economies and only benefit the short term interests of European big business. These deals can’t be final: they must be changed. Visit www.oxfamireland.org/campaigns and act now!

S A member of OYIDO receives his goat

haron Hughes donating a cheque for £600 in aid of the NIPSA Developing World Fund to Janette McNulty, Chairperson of NIPSA’s Global Solidarity Committee. The money was raised at the Child Support Agency’s Golden Goals Event.

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Fuel for Life

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e’ve all felt the price of our food shop go up recently. The papers are full of advice on how to economize – bring lunch in from home, spice up those leftovers. In fact, the price of food has nearly doubled in just three years. People who live in developing countries, who have to spend more than half their income on food, are bearing the brunt of the crisis. There are a number of causes, but we’re not helping by rushing to fuel cars instead of people.

So what’s behind the food crisis? Poor harvests in big food-producing countries, such as Australia, probably as a result of climate change, have hit food supplies. Increased oil prices have meant producing and transporting food has become much more expensive and the demand for food has increased as diets improve in China and India. As the price of food has gone up, speculators have been attracted to the market. And we’ve been literally adding fuel to the fire by using food crops to create biofuels. Tackling the problem will take time: for instance, we need to keep campaigning against the kind of unfair trade rules which have forced poor farmers in the developing world out of business (you can help do this right now at www.oxfamireland. org). Governments need to take urgent action to increase food aid in the short term. They also need to ensure that developing countries have the freedom to pursue the right policies for their economies and agriculture. In the meantime, we can take some of the heat out of the situation by halting the rush to biofuels, which has so far been responsible for around 30% of the food price rises (and possibly as much as 70%).The shift has been

very rapid – in 2007 around one quarter of the US corn harvest was used to produce biofuels in factories like the one pictured here. The European Union has set a target that requires 10% of all transport fuels to come from biofuels by 2010: they are already being blended into the petrol sold on forecourts across Ireland. Biofuels are supposed to help tackle climate change. However, recent evidence suggests that biofuels exacerbate climate change and are an excuse for inaction in cutting carbon emissions. They can also be a hugely expensive way of tackling climate change, and are powering a land grab in developing countries. The chair of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues recently warned that 60 million indigenous people worldwide face clearance from their land to make way for biofuel plantations Keep an eye on Oxfam Ireland’s website to get all the latest information on this issue and updates on important actions you can take to help: www.oxfamireland.org/campaigns

Biofuel Plant in Iowa, USA

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Al Nakba - 60 Years of Dispossession

Eamon McMahon (NIPSA Member), Eamon McCann and Patricia McKeown (President of ICTU) at the Rally outside Belfast City Hall

On 17th May 2008 hundreds of people marched around Belfast City Centre to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Al Nakba, which is Arabic for the ‘The Catastrophe’. According to the IPCS (Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign) Al Nakba represents “The most disastrous period in Palestinian history”. “It marks the illegal foundation of the State of Israel on May 14th 1948. In order to facilitate this foundation, some 750,000 Palestinians were driven from their lands, some 531 villages, towns and cities were depopulated and destroyed, and even today some 6 million Palestinian refugees are prevented from returning to their homes, by Zionists, in direct contravention of UN Resolutions and common decency. Everything, absolutely everything, that has happened in Palestine, every disaster, every tragedy, every death, every imprisonment, stems from this lamentable injustice. It follows then, that every and any hope for Palestine and its people rests upon this injustice being overcome.”

Eamon McCann speaking at the Rally

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Report on the NIPSA Funded Food Security Intervention Project in Kenya

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his 3 year project, supported by the NIPSA Developing World Fund, is now more than half way through its third year grant and is processing well. With NIPSA’s assistance the project is well on its way to meeting its principal objectives to

were free from disease. It is also anticipated that these animals will be less affected by climatic conditions and local diseases, as they were purchased within the district. So far the 10 bulls have already been distributed although it is still too early to tell the impact of the bulls.

V V V

Improved Water Availability & Accessibility

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increase food security; improve water availability and accessibility; enhancement of diversification of livelihoods; strengthen capacity for drought cycle management.

The following field report covers progress achieved in the first year in each of the objectives.

Increased Food Security of the Target Population 10 improved quality bulls were purchased from the project of Neighbours Initiative Alliance, which is an NGO in Kajiado. The livestock purchased were vetted by a veterinary officer from the government office and

2 Community Water Technicians have been trained on proper operation and maintenance of boreholes. At the Kenya Water Training Institute (KEWI) workshop they were taken through a practical borehole running session. The operators were also trained on the frequency of borehole maintenance service and the parts required for these. This has resulted in more water being available to the community and as such, both human and livestock will spend less time in the borehole areas. Fewer breakdowns resulting in the boreholes and machines being more efficient and effective which in turn saves money which can now be invested in other livelihood activities.

Meeting in Kajiado, Kenya

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Diversification of Livelihoods

Outcome/Results of the Training

The goal of this component is to diversity pastoralists’ livelihoods through a shift towards more and varied economic orientation among women in the community.

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14 women groups were identified in the focus area to join the program. This was done after thorough consultations between MPIDO (Mainyoito Pastoralists Integrated Development Organisation) staff, the community and leaders of existing women groups. A baseline survey was conducted which highlighted some of the challenges facing women groups. They include:V

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Inadequate sources of money to strengthen their business Poor management and governance skills Internal conflicts caused by lack of proper management skills and tools.

3 leaders from each women group were trained on Income Generating Activities (IGA) and entrepreneurial skills.

The selected women groups were assisted through the purchase of beehives. Other challenges that the women groups have been assisted to overcome are those of:V V V V

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Before the commencement of the Year Two, programme staff will hold a two day meeting to review the implementation of year one activities and the activities planned for year two. This will provide room for lesson learning and streamline implementation of year two activities. Recommendations of the baseline survey will be taken into account.

MPIDO Women Groups

To address the challenges noted by the survey, the following activities were undertaken: V

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The women have developed an ability to calculate profit and loss. The women are also able to maximise their profits by selling their livestock in good time to avoid losses when animals lose weight (and hence value) due to drought. 5 women groups have been able to open bank accounts and are now saving proceeds of their livestock business.

Attaining registration from the relevant government ministries Training on book keeping Opening of bank account The groups have been assisted to formulate bylaws that can guide the community in making decisions and conflict resolution.

Strengthened Capacity for Drought Cycle Management

The goal of this component was to enhance drought preparedness and reduce drought vulnerability among livestock keepers through water provision. Lack of water, due to limited water sources has been a major contributing factor that causes livestock death during drought periods in the area. Hence, any meaningful intervention on drought preparedness must address water as a key issue. This has resulted in:V V V V

More water availability to the community Reduction in the cost incurred by the community on repairs Less time will be spend by the community in search of water hence more time to engage in other income generating activities. The livestock will maintain their body mass as they will not walk long distances in search of water.

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A Narrative Under Siege Al-Shifa Hospital, Gaza City

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oin Ali Mahmoud al-Wadiya (pictured below) was working in the al-Zaytoun district of east Gazacity when Israeli Occupying forces (IOF) invaded al-Zaytoun on January 15th. The forty eight year old mechanic immediately tried to flee the intense IOF shelling, but when he stopped in order to drag a critically injured civilian to safety, the ground beneath him exploded. When he regained consciousness, in Gaza city’s main al-Shifa hospital, Moin al-Wadiya had lost his left foot. His right leg is smashed and he has serious lacerations across his stomach. “I have six children” he says. “But now there is no-one to support my family.”

Nineteen Palestinians were killed during the IOF invasion of al-Zaytoun and neighbouring Shejae’a district, and another thirty people were injured, including several, like Moin al-Wadiya, who sustained critical injuries. During the first nineteen days of 2008, Israeli military attacks in the Gaza Strip killed a total of 71 Palestinians, and injured more than 190 others. Moin al-Wadiya is being treated at the Gaza city alShifa hospital, where the staff constantly struggle to cope amidst chronic shortages of medical equipment, essential drugs and fuel. The hospital director, Dr Hassan Khalaf, describes the situation at al-Shifa as “Potentially disastrous.” He explains that, “Out of an essential drug list of 480 items recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO), we are already ninety items short. Out of the 390 items we do have in stock, we have less than three months supply of 130 items.”

would, according to Dr Khalef, be fatal for dozens of patients who are totally dependent on electricity to power ventilators, dialysis machines and other life-saving equipment. A power cut at al-Shifa would also immediately kill 30 premature babies surviving in incubators at the hospital, including Karim, a seriously premature week old baby boy twin being treated in the hospital neonatal intensive care unit. Moin al-Wadiya is remarkably philosophical about his

injuries. “I bled a lot” he says from his hospital bed. “I saw people flying through the air and bodies cut to pieces. But this is my destiny. Just I worry for my family, because I was the only one working to support us.” As a trade union committed to the protection and promotion of human rights and international humanitarian law. We condemn the fact that the Israeli military continues to launch indiscriminate attacks on densely populated neighbourhoods of Gaza, where it is impossible to distinguish between civilians and military objects. This continued use of disproportionate force is a contravention of international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention, and is putting the lives of Palestinian civilians at great risk of death and serious injury.

Moin Ali Mahmoud al-Wadiya at the Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza city

The staff at al-Shifa also face the daily reality of a power failure at the hospital that

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Organic and ethically traded T-shirts and Polo-shirts

For Sale

T-shirts £8.00

Polo-shirts £10.00

Available in various colours and sizes

All proceeds go towards the NIPSA Developing World Fund

Order Form

Please indicate quantity in size and colour required

Men’s Polo Shirts £10 each S M Black White Men’s T-shirts (round neck) £8 each Black White Navy Dark Grey Ladies T-shirts (round neck) £8 each Black White Red Light Blue

L

XL

XXL

N/A N/A N/A N/A

Name (PLEASE PRINT) ___________________________________________________ NIPSA Branch No __________________ Address ______________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________ Postcode _______________________________ Contact phone number ___________________________________________ Amount enclosed £ ______________ Cheques should be crossed and made payable to ‘NIPSA Developing World Fund’ Please return order form, together with payment to: Brian Nugent, NIPSA HQ, Harkin House, 54 Wellington Park, Belfast BT9 6DP Order Forms can also be downloaded from the NIPSA website www.nipsa.org.uk

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Why were the Raytheon 9 Acquitted? (Article by Eamon McCann)

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he reasons for the acquittal of the Raytheon 9 have been ignored in the mainstream media-possibly because the implications are unsettling for mainstream opinion.

Eamon McCann with protestors outside Raytheon’s premises

Our case was that no crime had been committed when nine of us members of the Derry Anti-War Coalition forced an entry into the Raytheon premises in Derry on August 9th 2006 and smashed up all the computer equipment we could find. The action had been prompted by Israel’s use of Raytheon weapons in its continuing assault on Lebanon. We argued that we were in the position of a citizen

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who, hearing a child being brutalised as she or he passes a house, smashes in the door to try to stop the assault. No crime of breaking and entering would arise, we said, because the intention was to prevent a greater crime. To establish the parallel, we had to show that Israeli actions such as the bombing of Qana on July 30th in which 28 civilians died, more than half of them children, constituted war crimes; that Raytheon had aided and abetted

the commission of war crimes by supplying Israel with weapons which past experience should have told the company might be used in war crimes; that the Derry plant was involved; and that breaking in and taking out the computer system was a reasonable response to its involvement. We produced news stories (including Feargal Keane’s BBC report on Qana), eyewitness statements, reports by Amnesty and Human

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Rights Watch and much more to show that the Israeli assault, in its careless disregard for civilian lives and property, was in breach of international humanitarian law. We showed that Raytheon weapons had previously been used by US, Israeli and other armed forces in the Middle East in the commission of war crimes and that this must have been known to the company. We displayed evidence from inside the company showing that all its plants, and specifically the Derry plant, were interlinked and played a part in all company production. And we showed that, over the seven years of Raytheon operations in Derry, the DAWC and others had made every effort by conventional

political means to stop the company contributing to warcriminality but that this effort had failed, partly because of the absence of support from any major party: this was important in establishing the reasonableness of the eventual decision to take direct action. Our case was significantly strengthened by the evidence of senior Raytheon employees, none of whom denied anything we alleged or, it seemed, had any unease about the uses to which the company’s products were being put. In accepting our case, the jury accepted that we were reasonable in believing that Israel was guilty of war crimes and Raytheon of complicity in war crimes.

This makes it reasonable now to call on the office of the Attorney General and the Crown Prosecution Service to institute an investigation into the activities of Raytheon at its various plants across the UK, with a view to determining whether Raytheon is, in fact, a criminal enterprise. This is the clear implication of the outcome of the case and, very likely, the reason for the continuing media silence on the verdict. The Irish Anti-War Movement, to which the DAWC is affiliated, has called on the trade union movement to support the call for a criminal investigation of Raytheon and other arms companies.

NIPSA’s Global Solidarity Committee 2008-2009 Pictured below from left to right: Janette McNulty (Chairperson), Marcel Dummigan (SSA), Brian Moore (DOE), Geraldine Alexander (HQ Official with responsibility for Global Solidarity Committee). Other members not pictured: Brian Crawford (DHSSPS), Trevor Smyth (Vice-Chairperson), Cathy McCarthy (NIHE), Colette Flanagan (CMED/DSD) Heather McKinstry (SELB), Ryan Wilson (CMED/DSD) and Michael Robinson (DOE).

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Capacity Building for Federation of Banana Workers Union

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n the March 2007 edition of the Newsletter we reported on how this two year NIPSA supported project was progressing one year on. We have now received a final report and this section highlights the results and impact of the project in relation to the four objectives.

Trade Union Strengthening Ten capacity building workshops on trade union issues for trade union leaders and members were conducted. Forty-five men and Forty-five women participated in the training conducted over the twoyear period of this project. They now have enhanced knowledge on topics such as trade union organisations, labour rights, social security law, negotiation techniques and leadership skills. Meetings were conducted on the banana farms in order to establish new trade unions

which would represent workers. Trade union meetings were also held to establish the Banana Workers Federation (FETRABACH). Advocacy and lobbying campaigns to develop workers awareness of their labour rights were carried out on all the banana farms. This was achieved through meetings held with banana workers, short presentations to farm owners, farm administrators and on radio station programmes. The advocacy campaigns made the farmers aware of their right to belong to a trade union. The public campaign was needed to increase the number of banana workers informed about their rights and it encouraged them to join the trade union.

Results: The Banana Workers Federation (FETRABACH) has been established, is registered and is functioning legally. Two new trade unions have been established and are

functioning effectively and there are now five fully functioning trade unions in the Banana Workers Federation. Members of the trade unions and of the Federation display enhanced knowledge of labour rights and are now empowered to demand their social benefit entitlements such as their retirement pensions. Women have shown increased awareness of the need for women’s representation in trade unions. As a result more and more women have become members of trade unions. At least 50 percent of board members in all the trade unions are women and an increasing number of women are assuming decision-making roles on trade union boards. Significantly the General Secretary of one of the 3 new trade unions is a woman. All the trade unions and the Federation have incorporated a position for women’s affairs into their organisational structure. Therefore, women have been selected to represent other women, administer and to demand women’s rights while taking into account gender specific issues. Male members are also aware of the need for increased female representation in the trade unions and have accepted women to run for decision-making positions.

Education on Gender and Health Issues/ Gynaecological Clinic

A labour meeting with the workers of the plantation and owner

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Ten training workshops were carried out for trade union leaders and members on issues of health and gender.

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HOW can you help? BY RAISING MONEY

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he challenge is there for members and branches to work up fund raising ventures.

BY DONATING

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e encourage members, if they can afford it, to give regularly by either taking out a covenant or authorising a Give As You Earn (GAYE) payroll deduction. If you would like to do this, please complete the deduction slip below, and make a real difference to the lives of the poor people of the world. NIPSA/Developing World Fund Payroll Donation Form

I want to give to the NIPSA Developing World Fund, direct from my salary the following amount per month:

Banana Sorting Plantation © Trócaire 288 women and 373 men have increased knowledge on sexual and reproductive health, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), gender issues and the importance of positive self-esteem. The clinic staff conducted monthly visits to the communities. The mobile clinic provided health counselling to 660 people with special emphasis on women’s health. Short presentations were among some of the activities implemented. Also, 227 cervical smears were carried out. Ongoing support and orientation is provided to women in cases of STD and cancer detection. Due to a lack of information and experience many women do not know what to do when they find out that they have cancer or an STD. The doctor advises the women about where to go and to get

the help they need to treat their health problems. A person from the clinic usually accompanies the women to go to hospitals some of them have never been in the city.

(please tick box) £5.00

£10.00 cost in take home pay £7.80 £15.00 cost in take home pay £11.70 £20.00 cost in take home pay £15.60 Above figures are based on standard tax rates.

Results: The Federations gynaecological clinic is offering health services in conjunction with two state hospitals and one nongovernmental hospital. This strategy has been increasing women’s access to health services such as sexual and reproductive health services, cancer care treatment, STD and HIV testing. Both women and men have displayed increased awareness of their right to access health services and the need to develop good preventive health services at community level. The (continued overleaf)

cost in take home pay £3.90

Weekly paid staff should indicate amounts in panel below

£ Minimum donation £1.30 Cost in take home pay £1.00

Name Address may be omitted if necessary

Postcode Staff No Employer’s Name Work Location Signed Date

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Why is NIPSA’s Developing World Fund unique?

demand for cervical smear testing and pills has also increased. A committee for health and hygiene with representation from the banana farms, workers and Ministry of labour was established and is fully functioning. Its main role is to monitor and fulfilment of the workers rights. An agreement was reached between the trade union and employees to provide health care services to workers in case of work related accidents and illnesses.

Alternative Income Generation

The Fund is unique because ..... ..... not a single penny of the money contributed by members goes towards administration - 100% of the money donated goes towards the specific self-help projects which NIPSA supports; ..... for every £1 contributed by members (who pay tax), NIPSA is able to recover paid tax, eg £5 per month deducted from your gross wage (before tax) actually costs you only £3.90 (at the basic rate of tax); ..... the General Council donates to the Fund each year. This money does not come out of NIPSA’s funds, but out of the Union’s fee fund, which is made up of the monies paid to union officials for their appearances on industrial tribunals and other public bodies. Geraldine Alexander Global Solidarity Committee NIPSA Harkin House 54 Wellington Park BELFAST BT9 6DP Tele: 028 9066 1831 Fax: 028 9066 5847 Minicom: 028 9068 7285 E-mail: info@nipsa.org.uk Web: www.nipsa.org.uk Views expressed in this Newsletter are not, unless otherwise stated, the views of NIPSA.

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A woman in the sewing course modelling a skirt she made Twenty people were trained in basic computers. Two sewing courses of one year duration each were carried out on week and weekend days. Sixty-three women and adolescents started the course but only fifty-five graduated. A participatory methodology was used to facilitate the learning for illiterate women participating in the course. The fifty-five women who finished the course graduated with knowledge on basic sewing and are now enabled to make pants, dresses, blouses and skirts.

Results: As a result of the sewing courses women are now fixing and making their own children’s clothes. Five women bought their own sewing machines and are now making clothes for their neighbours. Ten women have been hired by a family business as seamstresses. As a result of the courses fifteen women have increased their income. Trocaire, on behalf of the Federation of Banana Workers Unions and its members would like to thank NIPSA for its financial support and solidarity which has contributed immensely to create a better life for banana workers and their families in Nicaragua.

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NIPSA Global Solidarity Newsletter, September 2008