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Tanzania informal transport workers boost union membership

27 Feb 2019

An ITF affiliate in Tanzania has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a bodaboda (motorbike taxi) association in Dar es salaam, boosting its membership by around 250.

The MoU was signed on 20 February by the Communication and Transport Workers' Union of Tanzania (COTWU-T) and the Matangini Michungwani King’ongo (MMK) association.

The union intensified discussions in October 2018 with the MMK’s leadership and it carried out some interviews and surveys. During these sessions, the MMK’s twelve-member leadership raised issues such as lack of an education programme, weak bargaining power and the absence of social protection for the bodaboda workers.

ITF executive board member and secretary general of the COTWU-T, Juliana Mpanduji, said: “Our efforts have always been focused on reaching out to all transport workers, especially those in the informal sector.

We are delighted with this MoU because it will give us stronger negotiating power with our allies, partners and governmental institutions, as we continue improving on the working conditions of all workers.”

The informal sector employs a large number of people across Africa. With a potential membership of over 50,000 workers in Dar es salaam, the union is embarking on an ambitious programme of education and organising.

ITF Africa deputy regional secretary Anna Karume said: “We welcome this development, which is in line with one of the main strategic elements that was adopted at the last ITF congress in October 2018 - activating mass membership.

“We are also proud to see the ITF’s informal sector project and the affiliate mentorship programmes continuing to bear fruit in Africa.”

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Congratulations to our brothers and sisters from Tanzania, we need to organise the informal transport sector so as to strengthen union membership across the globe.