Saturday, October 22, 2011

#Uint11 Project with UNE Nicaragua

Sat pm: Ruby Cox the Chair of UNISON Greater London International Committee (I am vice Chair) spoke next with Gabriela Queuedo, the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign Action Group Trade Union Officer (NSC).

Ruby spoke about how she first became involved in  international work in her branch (Tower Hamlets Local Government - my old branch).  Tower Hamlets  borough has the highest number of Bangladeshi residents in Europe. She was involved in making contact and organising a visit of 3 Bangladeshi trade union leaders (I also drove them around the borough during this visit). 

Ruby has an interest in Nicaragua and managed to be part of a delegation to visit this country. She was pretty horrified at the very poor working conditions and lack of employment rights. Since 2009 she had been involved in a project to fund a legal office to for the main Nicaraguan public sector trade union UNE. Gabriela explained about the NSC and how they helped Ruby with the assistance of the UNISON international department to eventually bring the project to a successful end.  The legal office is now up and running.

I think that Ruby and Clare in the previous presentation showed that it was possible for UNISON branches and Regions to start an initiate, get money and support from UNISON, work with partners and to set up successful projects.  It is often slow and frustrating but they show it can be done.

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