When we fight, we win – breaking through in Zambia to organise over 8,000 new members
UNI Property services, with funding from FES, recently organised a ‘blitz week’ with the Zambian Union of Security and Allied Workers union (ZUSAW). ZUSAW is working to build a strong, powerful and pro-active union that is fighting for better working conditions for all security workers in Zambia. To do so, ZUSAW needs to increase its' power by building up worker power through trade union membership.
Over 35 organisers and activists from Malawi, Kenya, Zambia and Uganda came together to talk with security workers in the field. As a direct result of the intense organising effort, 615 workers joined ZUSAW and the fight for better pay and respect at work in just 4 days. The successful organising drive is part of an ongoing ZUSAW campaign where over 8,000 workers have joined their union in the last 18 months.
The week was a chance to organise security officers who work for local companies that do not even pay minimum wage in addition to violating other labour laws. During the organising push, workers spoke about salary underpayments, lack of appropriate uniforms and equipment, late salaries and general poor health and safety.
“There are so many examples of UNI unions fighting tirelessly for their members and the ZUSAW example is one of the best. Recruiting 8,000 new members to the Zambian Security Union is a fantastic achievement,” said Eddy Stam, Head of UNI Property Services. “These kinds of wins demonstrate yet again that a focus on organising is the key to union success.”
A video of the blitz week can be viewed here.