A Gender equality guide for trade unionists in the agriculture

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A GENDER EQUALITY GUIDE FOR TRADE UNIONISTS IN THE AGRICULTURE, FOOD, HOTEL AND CATERING SECTORS ALL for ONE ONE for ALL International Union of Food, Agricultural,…
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A GENDER EQUALITY GUIDE FOR TRADE UNIONISTS IN THE AGRICULTURE, FOOD, HOTEL AND CATERING SECTORS ALL for ONE ONE for ALL International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations A GENDER EQUALITY GUIDE FOR TRADE UNIONISTS IN THE AGRICULTURE, FOOD, HOTEL AND CATERING SECTORS ALL for ONE ONE for ALL IUF International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations Acknowledgements This booklet was developed through workshops and interviews with representatives of IUF affiliated unions, whom we very warmly thank. The author would also like to thank all the IUF staff in head office and the regions who gave so much help in facilitating its production. Our grateful thanks also go to Malin Klingzell-Brulin and Gunnar Brulin of the ‘Mål&Medel’ magazine of the Swedish Food Workers’ Union Livs for the use of their interviews and photographs from Scandinavia, Latin America and Asia. www.malmedel.nu Also to Mary Juusela of the HRF (Hotell och Restaurang Facket) in Sweden, Svetlana Boincean, and IUF regional offices for the use of their photographs. Cartoons by Porise Lo, from the IUF Asia-Pacific Region ‘Women’s Education Manual’, 1995, based on drawings by Helga Binda, ACTU. Cartoon by David Pope on page 34. Written by Celia Mather, a writer based in the UK, specialising in workers’ rights in the global economy. Design and layout: m+m studios, Johannesburg, South Africa June 2007 International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF) Rampe du Pont Rouge 8 CH-1213 Geneva Switzerland Tel : +41 22 793 22 33 Fax : +41 22 793 22 38 Email : a class= __cf_email__ href= /cdn-cgi/l/email-protection data-cfemail= b5dcc0d3f5dcc0d39bdac7d2 [email protected] /a script data-cfhash='f9e31' type= text/javascript /* ![CDATA[ */!function(t,e,r,n,c,a,p){try{t=document.currentScript||function(){for(t=document.getElementsByTagName('script'),e=t.length;e--;)if(t[e].getAttribute('data-cfhash'))return t[e]}();if(t&&(c=t.previousSibling)){p=t.parentNode;if(a=c.getAttribute('data-cfemail')){for(e='',r='0x'+a.substr(0,2)|0,n=2;a.length-n;n+=2)e+='%'+('0'+('0x'+a.substr(n,2)^r).toString(16)).slice(-2);p.replaceChild(document.createTextNode(decodeURIComponent(e)),c)}p.removeChild(t)}}catch(u){}}()/* ]] */ /script Website: www.iuf.org ALL FOR ONE = ONE FOR ALL : A GENDER EQUALITY GUIDE FOR TRADE UNIONISTS Contents Introduction ................................................................................ 2 1 2 Attracting women to unions ................................................ 5 1.1 Equal pay, jobs and opportunities ............................................................ 5 1.2 Being safe at work .................................................................................... 13 1.3 Maternity protection ................................................................................ 25 1.4 Work-life balance ..................................................................................... 31 Making unions women-friendly ......................................... 37 2.1 Bringing more women into unions .......................................................... 37 2.2 Building women’s confidence and skills ................................................... 49 2.3 Promoting women’s concerns .................................................................. 59 2.4 Winning men’s support ............................................................................ 65 © Mark Henley / PANOS PICTURES IUF 1 Introduction Why the IUF produced this manual The level of unionisation among women workers is far below its potential. Many women say they do not join unions because they find it difficult to see how unions can help them. They don’t see many women at high levels in the unions, and they can’t see their own priorities being taken up vigorously. So this manual aims to help create an environment where women workers can participate positively in IUF affiliated trade unions around the world. Why is this important? It is the right thing to do. Discrimination against women is not accidental or occasional; it is woven through societies in the world. So it needs tackling not on a case-by-case basis but systematically, dealing with the structures which entrench discrimination against women. International standards exist, from the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), to ILO Conventions on the elimination of discrimination, for which we in the unions helped to fight. It is the sensible thing to do. The fact is that, if we don’t have a gender analysis, we don’t actually understand the situation in front of us. As a result, our union strategies towards governments and employers will be weaker. The other truth is that women’s activism brings life and strength to unions, as over and again the IUF hears from our affiliated unions where women are encouraged and given opportunities. There is clear evidence that where women are active at all levels of the union, the whole organisation gains, not only in terms of membership and capacity, but also in credibility in wider society. More even than the benefit to unions is the benefit to society as a whole. Only by ending discrimination can we raise women – and therefore their dependents – out of poverty. This is why, as an international federation of 336 trade unions in 120 countries representing over 12 million workers, the IUF has decided that special efforts must be made. Since 1997 our policy has been to achieve fair representation in all our activities, reflecting the composition of men and women within our membership: “neither men nor women should have less than 40% representation”. Yet we have continued to find resistance and excuses for why women have not been attending in sufficient proportion. And at the current pace, it would take at least fifteen years to achieve the standard. So, at the 2007 IUF World Congress, it was agreed to convert the 40% minimum into seats reserved for women on IUF committees and in delegations. And we now have sanctions: voting rights will be reduced in proportion to the number of women missing. I do not know another issue of importance that we would treat with such patience. I urge women to force the pace, be more assertive with your arguments and activities. I urge men who understand the need for change to give all support. I want to stress that this booklet is for both men and women. It includes difficult discussions, like how to change the perceptions and behaviour patterns of male trade union leaders. But tackling such questions is necessary if we are to work together to improve the lives of our own union members and of the poor wherever we are. As the examples throughout this booklet show, in many of our affiliates across the world equality is improving. And we intend to encourage this more. Ron Oswald General Secretary, IUF 2 ALL FOR ONE = ONE FOR ALL : A GENDER EQUALITY GUIDE FOR TRADE UNIONISTS Who this manual is for It is for any trade unionists, both men and women, who are interested in making their union stronger and more representative by promoting gender equality, at the workplace and in the unions. We hope it will be particularly useful for those in IUF affiliated unions who are: G G G Union officials Members of women’s committees or gender forums Education officers How to use this manual The manual is divided into two sections: Section 1: Issues which are high priorities for women workers and so, by taking them up, unions will impress and attract more women to become members. Section 2: Methods of organising which have been shown to: G G G G Increase women’s membership of unions Encourage confidence and activism among women members Ensure that women’s voice is heard better in the unions, and their concerns are taken up Persuade more men in the unions that these moves are just and will strengthen their organisations, and so are in their own best interests too. This booklet is not designed as a workbook for you to work through from start to finish. Rather be selective, choosing the elements that are most appropriate in your own context. Using it could be as simple as taking a different case study each week, photocopying it, and putting it up on a union noticeboard, ideally for group discussion later. Or elements might be used in much more in-depth study-circle education, or in strategic discussions in the union about how to deal with a particular problem the union is currently facing. We hope the manual helps you understand better the problems you face. But, more than that, we hope that the actions (‘What they did’) and reflections (‘What they said’) of others in IUF unions around the world assist you to develop your own strategies and activities. In training sessions and meetings, people often ask what unions elsewhere are doing or saying. This manual is built around giving you such examples. There are also suggestions for ‘What you can do’ and ‘Arguments to use’, to: G G G G G persuade more workers, particularly women, to join, to boost union membership; negotiate with management to reach agreements; influence politicians and government officials to improve legislation; win support from the general public; promote awareness that gender equality is vital, not only for stronger unions but also to develop a better society for all. The idea is to select whichever argument suits the occasion, no matter who it is that has yet to be convinced – employers, fellow workers, other union members, union leaders, family members, society at large, etc. Plus there are Resources for further useful information, from both publications and websites. Also, longer versions of many of the interviews in this booklet are on the IUF website at: www.iuf.org So we hope these resources will be of value to you, and we welcome your feedback. IUF 3 And if you wondered why action is needed… “The women workers are the only ones who give us problems. It would be better to employ robots instead of women, because machines do not feel pain in the arms, have no menstrual pains, and do not have babies.” Manager at a Nestlé factory at Araras, near Sao Paolo, Brazil, the fourth largest Nestlé plant in the world, where workers with Repetition Strain Injury (RSI) were dismissed, (see page 22). 4 ALL FOR ONE = ONE FOR ALL : A GENDER EQUALITY GUIDE FOR TRADE UNIONISTS 1.1 AT TRACTING WOMEN TO UNIONS Equal pay, jobs and opportunities ‘Oh, but in our society women don’t do that kind of work’. ‘Well, it’s less skilled; so of course they get less pay’. ‘It’s no good promoting her because her husband wouldn’t let her do the job’. ‘After all, a woman’s place is in the kitchen’. We have all heard statements like that, many times. Barriers to women’s equality in employment are often seen as embedded in culture, in traditions that are difficult to change. They are even said to be ‘natural’, linked to women’s biological role as mothers. In reality, there are very few aspects of life which women technically cannot engage in just because they bear children. What work women do, and how their work is valued, is part of how society sees the different roles of women and men. More than that, it is a question of power between men and women. This means that these views are not based on ‘nature’ and can be changed. Such barriers are also infringements of women’s fundamental human rights, as fought for and laid down in Declarations and Conventions of the United Nations and the International Labour Organisation over the past sixty years. Without trade unions, these human rights standards would not exist. They are something we should be proud of and actively uphold. UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) (1979) Article 10 1. All appropriate measures shall be taken to ensure to women, married or unmarried, equal rights with men in the field of economic and social life, and in particular: (a) The right, without discrimination on grounds of marital status or any other grounds, to receive vocational training, to work, to free choice of profession and employment, and to professional and vocational advancement; (b) The right to equal remuneration with men and to equality of treatment in respect of work of equal value; (c) The right to leave with pay, retirement privileges and provision for security in respect of unemployment, sickness, old age or other incapacity to work; (d) The right to receive family allowances on equal terms with men. 2. In order to prevent discrimination against women on account of marriage or maternity and to ensure their effective right to work, measures shall be taken to prevent their dismissal in the event of marriage or maternity and to provide paid maternity leave, with the guarantee of returning to former employment, and to provide the necessary social services, including child-care facilities. 3. Measures taken to protect women in certain types of work, for reasons inherent in their physical nature, shall not be regarded as discriminatory. W H AT T H E Y S A I D “Women on farms do find that low wages are a problem. A few, like me, are doing the same ” job as men, but we are paid less. Women hardly ever get promoted either. You will find the supervisors are always men.” Pulane Maine, dairy worker and First Vice-President, Food and Allied Workers’ Union (FAWU), South Africa IUF 5 More international standards against discrimination at work Over and again for the past sixty years, governments have agreed to international instruments aiming to root out discrimination. As well as the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and CEDAW [see page 5], there are the Conventions of the International Labour Organisation (ILO). Regional declarations that include combating sex discrimination also exist, for example: G The ILO - which is a ‘tripartite’ body involving governments, employers and trade unions promotes the concept of ‘decent work’ for all. African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, adopted by the Organisation of African Unity in 1981. All 53 member states of the African Union have promised to uphold this Charter. Article 18, paragraph 3: The State shall ensure the elimination of every discrimination against women and also ensure the protection of the rights of the woman and the child as stipulated in international declarations and conventions. Two ILO Conventions relating to discrimination at work are ‘core’ or ‘fundamental’. This means that they apply to all countries whether or not they have ratified (signed up to) them. All trade unionists can use them in their negotiations with governments and employers. G ILO Convention No.100 on Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value (1951), and its Recommendation No.90: these promote the concept of ‘equal pay for work of equal value’ and call for objective methods for evaluating work. www1.umn.edu/humanrts/instree/ z1afchar.htm G European Council Directives, including: G G G G ILO Convention No.111 on Discrimination in Employment and Occupation (1958), and its Recommendation No.111: these aim to combat discrimination based on race, sex, religion, political opinion, or national/social origin; they cover areas such as equal access to vocational training and particular occupations, as well as terms and conditions of employment. All ILO Conventions and Recommendations can be found in the ILOLEX database at: www.ilo.org/ilolex/english/index.htm Here you can read the text and also find out if your country has ratified a Convention. Early Conventions have been signed by most countries. 177 countries belong to the ILO. G G Equal pay (1975) Equal treatment in employment, vocational training, promotion and working conditions (1976) Equal treatment in social security (1978 and 1986) Equal treatment during pregnancy and motherhood (1986) Burden of proof in cases of sex discrimination (1997). Plus, the Treaty of Amsterdam adopted on 1 May 1999 commits the European Union to the promotion of equality between men and women. European Directives on social/employment policy can be found at: eur-lex.europa.eu/en/repert/0520.htm © Heldur Netocny / PANOS PICTURES 6 ALL FOR ONE = ONE FOR ALL : A GENDER EQUALITY GUIDE FOR TRADE UNIONISTS ATTRACTING WOMEN TO UNIONS : equal pay, jobs and opportunities ‘Decent work’ wanted for women As well as international standards against discrimination there are national employment laws and practice against discrimination in many countries, usually won after much trade union campaigning. Yet still – all over the world – governments and employers fail to respect these standards that they signed up to. Sometimes this is with the complicity or inaction of trade unionists. So there remain big gaps in employment between men and women, and how we are treated at work. The reality is that women suffer more from the competitive pressures and cost-saving strategies of employers and governments. Women have less job security than men; relatively more women are in ‘casualised’ jobs, on part-time or short-term temporary contracts, etc. Women have fewer possibilities for training and career advancement than men. Plus women have much less access to social security coverage such as oldage pensions and sickness insurance. Even today, jobs, pay, benefits and tax systems are organised according to a stereotype that men are ‘heads of households’ and women are ‘dependents’, even though this flies in the face of reality. Many women are actual heads of households – either as single-parents or where the men of the family are selfish with their income. Gender discrimination in job allocation, training and promotion, pay and benefits is what makes women worldwide relatively poorer than men. And poverty among women means poverty among children and other dependents such as the elderly. So gender discrimination is something that has to be addressed if we are to root out poverty and promote ‘decent work’ for all. Job Segregation Women are generally recruited for, and often themselves seek, particular types of jobs, based on women’s double/multiple roles in the home as well as outside or how society sees their capacities. This means that women end up being the majority in lower status jobs, while men dominate higher level positions. The jobs that women do are often classified as ‘less-skilled’ than men’s and so are paid less, though this is rarely based on an objective analysis. Women’s skills are often seen as ‘natural’ to them, part of their upbringing as girls, and undervalued. For example, many women are employed in service industries for the ‘emotional skills’ they have in dealing with customers or clients; they are said ‘not to need training’ and are not paid much for it. Men are on average taller, larger, heavier and physically stronger than women. But there is also great overlap between men and women sharing similar physical capacities. So allocating some jobs only to men and other jobs only to women is not particularly rational. In any case, machines often now replace the need for physical strength. These days, you don’t actually need a lot of muscle power to drive a tractor or fork-lift truck. Yet still it is said that men should operate such equipment. In fact, in a few cases, there is evidence of employers taking on women to operate expensive machinery because they are said to have “fewer accidents” with it. Gender discrimination is based on stereotypes, and it can cut both ways. Training and promotion Even when women are recruited alongside men, we see their career paths trailing off, as opportunities for training and promotion are curtailed. Meanwhile men rise and dominate the positions that have higher status, more power and bigger pay. We need to demolish the ‘glass ceiling’ and ‘sticky
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