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Organization of African Trade Union Unity

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Post time: 2016-01-25 21:56:38
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Edited by kofijohn at 2016-01-25 22:47


The Organisation ofAfrican Trade Union Unity (OATUU) is the ONLY African Trade Union Organisationthat represents all the trade union tendencies in Africa.
It has 88 affiliates inall the 54 African countries, with a total membership of about 25 million.

The Organisation ofAfrican Trade Union Unity (OATUU) was founded in April 1973 in Addis Ababa,Ethiopia.

Prior to the foundingof OATUU there existed three (3) Pan-African Trade Union Organisations, namely:

- All-AfricanTrade Union Federation (AATUF), based in Accra, Ghana;
-  AfricanTrade Union Confederation (ATUC), based in Dakar, Senegal;  and,
-  Pan-AfricanWorkers Congress  (PAWC), based inBanjul, the Gambia.

Each of the three (3)organizations represented different trade union tendencies.

The founding of OATUUput an end to the existence of the three Pan-African trade union organisations,having voluntarily dissolved themselves in Addis Ababa in April 1973.

At the founding ofOATUU, although the overwhelming majority of national trade union centerssupported its creation, yet there were few national centers that hadreservations.

It was not until March1975 at the first meeting of OATUU General Council in Accra, Ghana that all thenational trade union centers in Africa eventually agreed to becomefully-fledged members of OATUU, thereby ensuring the total unity of Africanworkers.

1.         THE CONGRESS

The Congress of OATUUis the highest organ of the organization. It meets once in every four (4) years. Delegates to the Congress are composed of four (4) members from eachnational center.

Since its inception in1973 the following Congresses and Extra-ordinary Congresses have been held:

1.1 Constitutive Congress:  April 1973 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
1.2  Second Ordinary Congress:  Tripoli, Libya, April 1976;
1.3 Third Ordinary Congress:  Mogadishu, Somalia in October 1980;
1.4 Fourth Ordinary Congress:  Lagos, Nigeria in January 1985;
1.5 First Extra-ordinary Congress:  Accra, Ghana in February 1986

Themain purpose of the First Extra-ordinary Congress was to resolve the crisisthat developed at the Fourth Congress of January 1985 in Lagos.  The crisis was not resolved and it led to thesplit of OATUU into two (2) rival groups.

1.6 The Second Extra-ordinary Congress washeld in Addis Ababa in
            October 1986 under the auspices ofthe Organization of African Unity

TheSecond Extra-ordinary Congress was prepared at the OAU Secretariat by theCommittee of Wisemen composed of the Ministers of Labour of Ethiopia, Benin,Congo, Egypt and Zambia, assisted by the representatives from each of the two warringfactions of OATUU.

Atthe end of the Second Extra-ordinary Congress, unity was achieved again to thecomplete satisfaction of all the delegates to the Second Extra-ordinaryCongress.

1.7     The 3rd Extra-ordinaryCongress:  13th April, 1993,Cairo, Egypt;

This Extra-ordinary Congress washeld for the sole purpose of amending the OATUU Constitution.

1.8      The Sixth Ordinary Congress:  Accra, Ghana in May 1995;

1.9     The Seventh Ordinary Congress:  Johannesburg, South Africa in
                September 1999.

The General Council is the second highestorgan of OATUU.  It is held once in ayear with one (1) representative from each affiliate of OATUU and all themembers of the Executive Committee.

Between two Congressesthe powers of the Congress devolves on the General Council with the exceptionof the power to amend the Constitution.

The Executive Committeeis composed of 13 members elected at the Congress. It implements the decisionsof the Congress and the General Council. It also supervises the work of the OATUU Secretariat.  The Executive Committee meets at least twicea year.


The OATUU Secretariatis based in its headquarters in Accra, Ghana under the direction of theSecretary-General as the Chief Executive, assisted by two AssistantSecretaries-General and a Treasurer-General. They are elected by Congress and hold office for a period of four years.  They are eligible for re-election.  The personnel of the Secretariat arerecruited by the Secretary-General in consultation with the ExecutiveCommittee.


OATUU facilitated thecreation of sub-regional organizations to ensure its service delivery to itsconstituents.  These include:

OTUWA    -   Organisationof Trade Unions of West Africa;
SATUCC   -    SouthernAfrican Trade Union Coordinating Council;
OTUCA    -   Organisationof Trade Unions of Central Africa;
UAMTU    -  Unionof Arab Maghreb Trade Unions;
EATUC    -    EastAfrican Trade Union Council.


OATUU established someSpecialized Agencies to assist the Secretariat to promote the unity of Africanworkers at the horizontal and vertical levels by propagating and inculcatingOATUU policies and objectives among the grassroot workers under theircompetence.

These are:

- AllAfrica Teachers’ Organsation (AATO) based in Accra, Ghana;
-  Pan-AfricanFederation of Mine Workers,  based inAlgiers, Algeria;
-  Pan-AfricanPetroleum and Allied Workers (PAFBAW) based in Tripoli, Libya;
- Pan-AfricanFederation of Food Industries, Tobacco, Hotel and Allied Workers (PAFFTHAW)based in Algiers, Algeria;
- Pan-AfricanFederation of Agricultural Trade Unions (PAFATU) based in Cairo, Egypt;
-  Federationof African Migrant Workers in France (FETAF) based in Paris, France.


OATUU is an authentic,independent, free and non-alligned Pan-African trade union Organisation.  It is not affiliated to anyinternational  trade union organisation.  It is a Specialized Agency of the Organizationof African Unity (OAU).  It hasconsultative status with:

- InternationalLabour Organisation (ILO);
- UnitedNations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC);
- UnitedNations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO);
-  Foodand Agriculture Organisation (FAO).


The main aims andobjectives of OATUU are:

1Tocoordinate the action of its affiliates throughout Africa.
2.Toachieve trade union unity both at the continental and national levels.
3.Torepresent and defend the material and moral interest of African workers andtrade unions in regional and international organisations.
4.Towork towards the harmonization of labour legislation and the principles ofcollective bargaining in Africa.
5.Toprotect and affirm the independence and identity of the African trade unions atall the levels.
6.Topromote, reinforce and defend trade union and other human rights.
7.Towork for African unity and economic integration.
8.Tocontribute to the achievement and consolidation of peace in the world.
9.Todefend the material and moral interest of migrant African workers incollaboration with trade union organizations of the host countries.
10Togive solidarity assistance to workers and trade union organisations.
11.Tofight against imperialism, colonialism, neo-colonialism, racism, apartheid andtheir agents as well as against feudalism and any other forms of oppression andexploitation for the economic independence of Africa and the completeemancipation of our people.
12.owork for social and economic justice, to protect the health and safety atworkplaces, to secure education and training of the African people and toensure the guarantee of full employment through :

a.industrializationand economic integration;
b.equalityfor all without distinction of sex, race, colour, creed or religion;
c ajust distribution of national wealth.

1 OATUU carries out education, training,research and advocacy in the following areas:

-Defenceand promotion of trade union rights;
-Popularparticipatory and people-empowered democracy;
-Entreprenuershipand small business development within African trade unions;
- Economicintegration;
-Occupationalhealth and safety;
-Campaignagainst child labour;
-Actionagainst HIV/AIDS;
-Promotionof Social Dialogue;
-Tradeand Development.

2.In protecting, defending and promotingtrade union rights, OATUU takes particular actions against reported and provenviolation of these rights.  It does so,for instance, by taking up such violations with the governments concerned orfiling complaints within the International Labour Organization.

3. OATUU performs its functions ofcoordinating trade union actions in Africa, defending the moral and materialinterest of African workers including migrant workers;  harmonizing labour legislation and theprinciples of collective bargaining; working for African unity and economic integration;  working for social and economic justice,etc., through its interaction with various regional and international bodiesand especially through representing African Trade Unions in Regional,Continental and International fora.

The income is derivedfrom subscriptions from member organizations, subsidies, donations and legaciesand from sources approved by the General Council.  The Congress determines the contributions ofmembers.

Forfurther information, please contact:

P.O. Box M386
Accra, Ghana
Tel:  233-289-508-851
Fax:  233-289-508-851
E-mail:  oatuughana@yahoo.com
Website: www.oatuu.net



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