Twenty-six workers from 11 nations, including 10 women workers, attended the seminar. It was the first time that workers from Niger, Mauritania and Congo Brazzaville have taken part in an ITF HIV/AIDS event.
The seminar aimed to raise awareness among unions in West Africa about the impact of HIV/AIDS on workers and their families, and to support them to build HIV/AIDS related issues into their union activities.
Attendees all committed to creating a structure within their union to take responsibility for HIV/AIDS issues. Relative to the rest of the continent, West Africa has a relatively low HIV/AIDS infection rate – giving unions a significant opportunity to continue the fight against HIV/AIDS.
ITF Africa Francophone representative Bayla Sow outlined further achievements during the seminar, saying: “We made significant progress at the seminar, with unions setting concrete goals on HIV/AIDS issues this year. We have already seen comrades at the Syndicat des Travailleurs de l’Aviation Civile in the Democratic Republic of Congo agree with employers to include HIV/AIDS related clauses in worker agreements. Our affiliates, the Syndicat Démocratique des Techniciens du Sénégal-Secteur d'Activité Professionnelle/Aviation Civile, has got HIV/AIDS medical insurance cover for all air traffic control staff in the country. These are significant achievements – and we will support our activists to make sure that they achieve their goals on HIV/AIDS for 2014.”
ITF civil aviation secretary Gabriel Mocho, celebrated the use of the ITF HIV/AIDS report and toolkit, which were developed in response to an ITF worker survey. He said he hoped unions would refer back to the toolkit as they carried out their action plans for 2014.
Get the survey and toolkit from the ITF global civil aviation site.