The agreement establishes for the first time in Niger’s transport sector minimum standards for labour contracts, wage rates, working hours and social protection, and will benefit at least 20,000 taxi, bus and truck drivers. It will also promote decent work and strengthen the process for formalisation of the informal sector.
Following the launch ceremony on 1 February, where the transport minister confirmed the government would do its utmost to ensure the agreement implementation, the high-level delegation toured Niger’s main cities, travelling over 2,500 km.
At meetings in bus stations and elsewhere, delegates explained the agreement’s significance and stressed the importance for unions to build solidarity along the road corridors through the use of the international drivers’ cards to fight against road harassment. They highlighted the need to build strong, democratic and independent trade unions, including organising informal workers such as moto-taxi drivers and bus station vendors.
Bayla Sow, ITF Francophone Africa and ECOWAS countries representative, said: “Everyone worked very hard to achieve this agreement, and I hope that it will be implemented effectively, as it will make a major difference to road transport workers in Niger.”
The Niger campaign was the final activity of the joint project for 2013-2015 between the ITF and Finland’s Trade Union Solidarity Centre (SASK) to strengthen road transport affiliates’ organising and bargaining skills along the main West African transport corridors. Other project successes include the recruitment of 9,786 new members by the ITF’s road transport affiliates in the region, the implementation of a CBA for road transport workers in Burkina Faso in 2015, and a reduction in harassment of road transport workers in some corridors.
Read about the ITF/SASK project launch.