By John Mac Acuek Mac
February 22, 2008 — In Southern Sudan, there is an urgent need for a General Workers Union to address the various issues of employment. The main principles of such a union would be to promote workers’ prosperity and welfare. Their working conditions must be up to internationally acceptable standards, their pay must be enough to provide them with a decent living and they must be able to get justice if and when such a need arise, such as unfair dismissal and salary cuts.
For an economy to prosper workers must be well taken care of because after all they are the lifeblood of the economy and hence the country.
Work is an essential part of life. It is a primary need and the opportunity for employment must be equal to all people. The essential elements of a prosperous and happy workforce is good working conditions, health and safety issues at work place, good wages, salary, and job security.
In Southern Sudan, there are currently all these issues which needs to be addressed. However, as individuals rise up to the challenge, it is quashed before they can make a representation. Therefore, what is important is for a body to unite these voices and represent them as a union. Southern Sudan Workers Union can do just that.
All workers in Southern Sudan, who feel they can benefit from such a Union, could join and contribute to the functioning of the Union. In return, they will be able to use the unified voice and body to represent their cases, be it wage cuts or unfair dismissal or bad working conditions. Union Members will be protected and employers will have to listen to the demands of the Union. These are tested systems around the world. Labour strikes can then be organized against employers who do not adhere to human rights standards and employment regulations.
As we are now turning a corner in the life of our country, this is a great moment for a Workers Union to emerge. Initially, it can just take the form of a web forum and later can begin working from an office in Southern Sudan ’. It will give workers a forum to complain about their problems and request for help and counselling.
There are many social scientists in Southern Sudan, who can easily form and run such a union. All it would take is a little imagination and lots of courage and self discipline.
Our people need us now, wake up to the 21st century and let us be a nation to be proud of, in every aspect of life.
Think about this scenario for a moment. If all the staffs of Southern Hotel in Juba go on a one week strike, won’t it cause havoc? Won’t it resolve all reasonable problems such as unfair pay cuts and priority treatments? It certainly will. Our people are suffering due to individual’s compromise as silent among government ministers favoring wealthy business having to do with so call shareholders.
The writer could be reached at: [email protected]