ILO Director General Meets Somali Trade Union Leader

Keywords : Human and trade union rights Somalia

15 September 2016

The Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Mr. Guy Ryder, has today received at his office at the ILO Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, the General Secretary of the Federation of Somali Trade Unions (FESTU), Mr. Omar Faruk Osman.

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FESTU General Secretary updated the ILO Director-General about the worsening situation of trade union rights and freedoms in Somalia including pervasive interference in trade union affairs, intimidations & vicious threats against independent trade unions, acts of anti-union discrimination against workers, disruption of trade union meetings, instrumentalisation of the nascent justice system to de-legitimize trade union movement, attempts of the government to form and control unions as well as stigmatization and criminalization of free & independent trade unions.

ILO Director-General has shared many of the opinions and concerns expressed by Mr. Osman specially attacks on fundamental trade union rights in Somalia. Having noted with serious concern about latest development of trade union rights violations, he commended FESTU and its leadership for their resoluteness in standing up for their union rights in a very tough and dangerous environment. Mr. Ryder re-assured FESTU the continued support, protection and solidarity of the UN labour body as part of ILO’s tripartite constituency in Somalia, and emphasized that trade union rights protection is imperative for peace & state building in Somalia.

Mr. Ryder has informed FESTU General Secretary who is also Secretary General of the National Union of Somali Journalists that ILO is seized of the matter and is giving Somalia situation particular trade union situation greater attention and the ILO Governing Body will be discussing Somalia’s trade union rights situation next month and will be adopting new set of conclusions, decisions and recommendations to improve trade union situation.

“We express our sincere appreciations to the ILO Director General Mr. Guy Ryder and the senior officials of the ILO for their solidarity driven support to our trade union movement, and for paying close attention to the human and trade union rights situation in Somalia. I reaffirmed to the Director General our utmost commitment to defend labour rights and resist those who want to annihilate the existence of independent trade union movement,” said Omar Faruk Osman, FESTU General Secretary.

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