Transport Trade Union leaders, at an event in Accra, Ghana have called on governments and employers to work with trade unions to end violence and harassment in the workplace.
The event, which was hosted by the International Transport Workers’ Federation, was held as part of an ongoing C190 campaign to support labour organising and campaigning to end gender-based violence and harassment. Alongside delegates from unions in Ghana, the workshop was attended by women trade union organisers from Cameroon, Senegal, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Togo, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire.
They have called on governments across Western and Central Africa to join countries such as Namibia and Mauritius in ratifying ILO Convention 190, an unprecedented international agreement on health, safety, and dignity in the workplace.
At the workshop, Ghana’s Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Ignatius Balfour-Awuah, presented research findings that shone light on the extent of the problem in the country. The survey, conducted in 2021, found that 71.7per cent of respondents had experienced one form of violence or harassment at the workplace.
Commenting on the findings, he said: “This is unacceptable and should be of concern to all. We need to take immediate and drastic steps to address this. Violence and harassment in the world of work affects all sectors of the economy, occupations and work arrangements. Violence and harassment at the workplace manifest themselves in different forms and contexts and deprive people of their dignity.”
He went on to give an overview of existing measures in place to tackle violence and harassment in the world of work, before endorsing C190: “Convention C190 is more comprehensive and applies to all sectors. It seeks to protect workers and other persons in the world of work.”
ITF Deputy Women Transport Workers and Gender Equality Officer, Claire Clarke, called on all governments around the world to ratify and implement the convention:
“The Convention and its accompanying Recommendation 206 therefore provide a foundation for trade unions and other stakeholders to address violence and harassment in the world of work and build a transport sector based on safe and decent work for all, and which protects women from gender-based violence and supports the recruitment and retention of more women in this male-dominated industry.”
“If we are to strengthen women’s employment in transport and promote decent work for all transport workers, governments, employers and trade unions must play a proactive role.”
ITF Africa Regional Secretary Mohammed Dauda Safiyanu praised steps the Ghanaian government has taken on the issue but confirmed the importance of ratifying C190. He added, “It is interesting to learn that Ghana has ratified some important ILO core conventions. But the impact of these eight cconventions are incomplete without the ratification and subsequent domestication of the ILO C190 which seek to address violence and harassment at the workplace”
Source: International Transport Workers’ Federation.