Workers with disabilities to form own union

DODOMA: WORKERS with disabilities are finalizing some legal procedures to establish their trade union.

According the group, the envisaged union will be named as the Tanzania Trade Union of Workers with Disabilities (TATUWOD).

Among others, the prospective union will be responsible for advocating for the statutory rights of the handicapped Tanzanians at their respective working places.

Last year, the employees with disabilities from different regions and institutions teamed up to mull over how best to initiate their tailor-made trade union for voicing their rights at workplaces.

As a positive result, the meeting picked a steering committee to oversee and coordinate needed protocols for the establishment and registration of the much- needed trade union.

The selected committee had successfully managed to compile a 100-page constitution proposal draft, as well as the prospectus union regulations, the crucial two drafts that are now being reviewed by the members before official approval by the relevant authorities.

Technical Director for the people with disabilities, Peter Charles, said they will have a special meeting for the final review and improvements of the draft constitution, in order to submit it to the responsible authority for the official approval.

“Establishment of the trade union is in line with the country’s set laws towards the employees with disabilities, but also, it adheres to international laws,” he expressed.

He further informed that among the pending issues on the process to be discussed, include the proposed trade union title, objectives, membership registration, as well as the involved responsibilities.

Others are the needed protocols in establishment of the union’s office of Secretary General, roles of Secretary General, and selection of the union’s board members, according to him.

“The general quest is to ensure the workers with disabilities are treated equally at their workplaces, whereby there must be a friendly infrastructures to cater for the physical requirements of people with disabilities at workplaces,” Mr Charles briefed.

He observed that the government in cooperation with the development partners and other stakeholders in the private sector have so far worked on improving policies and livelihoods of the physically handicapped employees, but much more must be put in place to erode the remaining setbacks.

Should the eagerly-awaited registration gets a green light, he sounded to have remained optimistic that the foreseen Tanzania Trade Union of Workers with Disabilities will play a significant role to help contain the long- standing challenges and numerous plights haunting the group.

Under the aspiration, there’re more 200 workers with physical disabilities from different public and private entities.

Special Seat MP, Stella Ikupa, for her part appreciated the numerous supports being offered by the stakeholders to back up different initiatives for the disabled communities in the country.

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