CNTS includes sustainable development perspective in training for union reps and leaders

The Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs du Sénégal (CNTS) has set itself the objective of adapting its training to the growing needs of its union reps and leaders to better understand the relationship between sustainable development goals and trade union work, with a view to reducing or even eradicating poverty in their local communities.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a universal call to eradicate poverty, protect the planet and ensure peace and prosperity for all. As part of its work to promote the SDGs, and particularly SDG 8 on decent work and sustainable economic growth and SDG 13 on combating climate change, the CNTSemphasises that poverty can only be eradicated if people have decent work with decent wages to support themselves and their families, and if just transition processes are put in place to adapt their work to the challenges of climate change.

In line with its efforts to promote decent work, the CNTS has launched training for union representatives, to improve their understanding of trade unionism and their role and mission as workplace representatives, so that they can better defend workers’ rights and working conditions. With this aim in mind, staff representatives from Auchan Senegal received training in social dialogue and negotiating techniques, including conflict resolution in the workplace.

Marième Sakho Dansokho, confederal secretary in charge of training at the CNTS, explained that “these are young trade unionists who have joined the movement and who need training to better carry out their mandate. They have already received training on the role of workplace representatives and the aim is to now build their capacities in the areas of social dialogue, collective bargaining and individual and collective dispute resolution.”

Aissatou Camara Ndoye, spokesperson for the Auchan union reps, stressed the importance of the training: “It is essential that we have the right tools to negotiate with our employer so that we can better defend our interests. We have come here to learn and to serve the workers who elected us,” she said.

The CNTS is also holding training courses and workshops on environmental issues and the just transition. Its general secretary, Mody Guiro, chaired a national workshop on 26 October 2023 on building the capacity of CNTS-affiliated trade union organisations to integrate just transition into social dialogue and to contribute to the national climate policy. The workshop, held within the framework of the programme with Belgium’s CGSLB trade union centre, sought to raise union leaders’ awareness of the impact of climate change on the workplace as well as to equip and support the organisations in the sectors covered by the national climate policy, along with CNTS officials sitting on consultative and dialogue bodies, with a view to fostering the inclusion of climate change issues within trade union priorities.

For the CNTS, the ongoing training of union leaders on sustainable development issues is crucial, because, as the CNTS focal point on the environment and just transition issues, Babacar Sylla, underlines that the future of work depends on how we respond to the major challenges posed by climate change.

Find more information regarding the efforts of trade unions to support workers’ rights in Senegal and their representation within the context of the 2030 Agenda on the ITUC website and its Global Rights Index. Additionally, the online media Equal Times offers comprehensive coverage, shedding light on the ever-evolving dynamics of workers’ rights in Senegal and worldwide.