Organizar a los trabajadores y trabajadoras jóvenes de la economía informal: un reto para el movimiento sindical

Within the framework of implementing the ITUC Special Action Programme on the Informal Economy, a trade union education workshop was held in Kigali (Rwanda) in cooperation with the CESTRAR and COTRAF from 15 to 17 February 2011.

The aim of the workshop was:

- to bring the participants to the realisation that addressing IE workers’ problems is part of the trade union movement’s mission;
- to identify the relevant groups with which unions could work;
- to provide trade union organisers and activists with capacity building for the unionisation of IE workers;
- to draw up a national action plan and a strategy to organise IE workers.

Around 30 participants from the two organisations attended the workshop and were able to share experiences and the results of the various initiatives developed by the CESTRAR and COTRAF. The opportunity was also taken to raise the participants’ awareness about the need to extend social protection to IE workers and other vulnerable groups.

Although only timid progress has been made in the process of extending social protection to the informal economy, initiated by the Rwandan government in collaboration with trade union organisations, there is real hope of a clear improvement.

The conclusions of the workshop formed the basis of an agreement on a national action plan focused on three areas: the organisation and unionisation of IE workers; the inclusion of IE workers’ demands (decent work, minimum wage) in collective bargaining negotiations; the establishment of a social protection scheme for IE workers.

The CESTRAR and COTRAF undertook to put every effort into meeting the objectives of the action plan through the setting up of an inter-union follow-up and assessment committee.