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21.06.2004 Regional News

GAWU committed to activating agricultural and rural population

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Accra June 21, GNA - The Ghana Agricultural Workers Union (GAWU) on Monday said it was committed to activating the agricultural and rural population through various empowerment programmes with the view to making them speak for themselves.

A resolution the GAWU adopted at the end of its National Executive Council annual meeting touched on health, safety and environment, the organization of small farmers and other rural workers, the new Labour Act, multilateral trading regime, food security and external relations and institutional capacity development.

The resolution expressing concern about the social marginalisation and exclusion of small farmers and other categories of rural working people said GAWU's modicum of success in the organisation of those workers was a platform of building a trade union that embraced both formal and informal workers.

The resolution said the Council had resolved to step up its campaign for the ratification of the appropriate ILO Convention on Health and Safety in agriculture, as well as the adoption of national policies that promoted organic farming, integrated pest management and the promotion of animal traction in the appropriate ecological zones. GAWU also discussed HIV/AIDS and child labour, which are a growing menace in the rural areas and resolved to step up the campaign against them in furtherance of its commitment to work with other civil society organizations for the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals. The resolution, which also covered concerns the organizations of small farmers and other rural workers stated that such organizations were necessary conditions for building institutions for marketing inputs and rural produce and for ensuring higher returns and enhanced livelihoods for small farmers and other categories of rural workers. On the New Labour Act, the Council resolved to advance its unionisation of the unorganised workers. It cautioned all social partners, especially employers in agriculture to appreciate the fact that the promotion of the right to unionisation was in the interest of society.

The resolution appraised the Council's trade advocacy work and confirmed the importance of trade unions to mobilize the entire membership alongside other civil society organizations to influence trade policies and negotiations.

GAWU reiterated its commitments to campaign for the creation of a society in which men and women enjoyed equal opportunities.

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