SOCOTU Somalia
l-r: Bayla Sow, Ahmed Hassan Omar, Anna Karume and Abdikadir Mohamed Jim

Somali transport workers approach ITF Africa for affiliation

The Somalia Congress of Trade Unions (SOCOTU) has approached the ITF Africa regional office to seek affiliation to the federation of its three transport unions.

SOCOTU’s secretary general Ahmed Hassan Omar and board member Abdikadir Mohamed Jim visited the ITF regional office on 20 September for a meeting with Anna Karume, deputy ITF Africa regional secretary, and Bayla Sow, ITF Africa francophone and ECOWAS countries’ representative.

They discussed:

• the composition and role of SOCOTU;

• the transport sector in Somalia; and

• the history, structure, membership and aims of the ITF.

After the ITF outlined the conditions for affiliation, Mr Omar agreed to work on those requirements so that SOCOTU's transport unions could join the ITF as soon as possible. Ms Karume assured him that the ITF would be ready to assist SOCOTU to integrate its transport unions into the ITF family, and expressed her appreciation of SOCOTU’s efforts to organise workers in the face of a challenging environment in Somalia.

Ms Karume said: “We value this approach by SOCOTU and look forward to welcoming its members into the ITF family. It means we can assist its unions to do even more to fight for labour rights and decent working conditions in Somalia’s transport sector.”

SOCOTU was established in July 2011. It is affiliated to the Organization of African Trade Union Unity and the Confederation of Arab Trade Unions and is recognised as a credible and representative partner by employers, government, international institutions and partners.

It brings together several unions, including three transport unions – the Somalia Transport and Allied Workers (SOTAWU), which represents taxi, bus, taxi motorcycle and civil aviation workers; the Somalia Fisheries Workers Union (SOFWU); and the Somalia Port Workers Union (SOPWU) – and has some 62,000 members.

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