Thursday, October 22, 2020

Global Union moves to block multinationals from “ripping” Africa

Switzerland based, UNI Global Union says it will do everything in its power to empower employees working for multinational companies threatening to “pull out” of Africa.

Marcio Monzane, Head of UNI Finance at Global Union told Sunday Standard in an exclusive interview in Gaborone this week that the global workers union is not amused by ongoing threats by some multinationals to close shop in the continent.

He said the ongoing threats, cause panic amongst the workers who are worried about their job security.

“We are here to try and build networks amongst workers as most employees play divided and rule tactics on them. We need to make sure that the playing field across companies in the same industries is level”.

The aim of the Global Union is to ensure that all workers in the service industry are covered by a collective agreement.

“As companies become global, networking beyond borders is helping trade unions to organise and campaign globally,” Monzane said.

Through multinational union alliances, UNI-Africa held a two day workshop in Gaborone to help its affiliates which include the Botswana Bank Employees Union (BOBEU) to have a common platform to share experiences, strategies and solutions to common problems.

Although Barclays’s pending exit out of Africa was not core of the Union’s meeting in Gaborone, it was part of the discussion according to Botswana Bank Employees Union (BOBEU) Secretary General Lebogang Keabetswe.

 

Asked on allegations of Barclays selling part or whole of its African business, Monzane said that the global union is closely monitoring the situation but has not received any formal communication from the multinational bank. 

Barclays’ new chief executive is reported to be planning to announce on Tuesday that the British bank has decided to exit its African operations in a bold move to refocus the bank on its core UK and US markets.

“Barclays is not frank on its decision to exit Africa, they need to come and be clear on what exactly they want to do. Our worry is not about it closing shop but rather workers who now work without job security,” Monzane said Thursday.

Through its Sector Global Unions, UNI represents workers in Cleaning and Security, Commerce, Finance, Gaming, Graphical and Packaging, Hair and Beauty, Information, Communication, Technology and Services Industry (ICTS), Media, Entertainment and Arts, Post and Logistics, Social Insurance, Sport, Temp and Agency workers, and Tourism industries as well as Professionals and Managers, Women and Youth.

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