Canadian trade union development cooperation in three stories

Strengthening trade unions in Zimbabwe, leadership training in Bolivia, empowering women in Bangladesh – these only some examples of the international solidarity projects of the Canadian Labour Congress and its affiliates. In three more in-depth stories from India, Mexico and Kenya you can learn more about the reality of trade union struggles around the world and the Canadian development cooperation projects supporting them.

The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC) and their affiliates supported by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) partner with trade unions in all corners of the world on development cooperation projects. CLC’s international work deals with issues such as gender inequity, weak labour protections, globalization, child labour, poverty, lack of social protection, job creation and overt workplace discrimination –with a focus to promote the Decent Work Agenda.

Three in-depth stories from the field offer a better understanding of the issues at stake and trade union response to them:

Lives touched by the project

Stories of Siddika Mohol and Shahin Akhter Parvin, two Bangladeshi trade union leaders, show how union activism not only improves the situation of workers in the community, but also transforms the lives of the leaders themselves. Both women have benefited from trainings on trade union and women’s rights through the BILS/CTUC-Women Workers’ Development Project (WWDP) and led successful campaigns on a number of issues, including securing paid maternity leave for many women in their communities.

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The fight for the defense of our labour and union rights. An organizational experience of working women of the Central de Abasto of Mexico City

This is a vivid story telling how women of the Central de Abasto market in Mexico City organized to improve their working conditions and, when a new management disregarded the collective agreement and workers’ rights, succeeded to defend their rights and dignity through a persistent legal and public campaign.

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Socks Instead of Gloves. Outsourcing and casualization are main drivers to unsafe conditions of work in the cane and sugar sector of Kenya

The report presents in details the reality and hardship of the work on sugar cane plantations in Kenya, where workers often have to deal with toxic herbicides and demanding manual work without a proper protective gear. In frame of a CAW supported IUF Global Sugar project in Africa, research and workshops on Occupational Health and Safety were carried out for the workers in Chemelil and Nzoia, Kenya.

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Read more about the Canadian Labour International Development Program (LIDP)