Malawi workshopsOrganisers and activists of Transport & General Workers Union (TGWU) Malawi called for the union to develop its climate change policy and promised to take up the issue in their workplaces.

The union with funding from the Swedish Transport Workers’ Union organised two workshops in August in the city of Blantyre, Malawi. The two-day organiser workshop (9-10 August 2013) focused on organising informal and formal workers in the transport sector, particularly for part-time organisers. The rank and file workshop (30 August 2013) aimed to introduce trade unionism to new members from the railway union, and the shipping clearing and customs services union.

Martin Kapombeza a union organiser and a member of the ITF climate change working group  reports on how he used the ITF factsheets on climate change basics and on climate change and gender were used in the recent training.

“As a member of the ITF climate change working group, I took advantage of the workshops to make a presentation on climate change, and to introduce our members to the basics of climate change, apart from the usual collective bargaining, grievance handling and occupational health and safety issues which were covered in the workshops. The presentation was based on the ITF climate change fact sheet 1-4: the basics.

The first factsheet also provided an opportunity for the participants to understand the causes of climate change and the changes in global temperatures in the modern century and what the world would be like in the coming years. I also had a chance to talking about climate change and gender, where I focused on our union’s belief that climate justice can not be achieved without gender equality. See the ITF briefing paper on gender and climate change.

We also discussed the impact of climate change on workers. The levels of understanding differed and there were different views on climate change, but there was agreement on the following recommendations:

  • Requested the union (TGWU) to hasten its program on developing climate change policy.
  • As organisers they will gallantly take the issues of climate change with the highest attention possible.
  • To ensure that climate change committees in their respective workplaces are really active on climate change.
  • Requested the union to organize another bigger workshop to go in depth on climate change.
  • As workers in the transport sector which emits a lot of CO2 to the atmosphere we should take an active role towards climate change mitigation.

This is what I wanted to share with all friends in the ITF climate change working group and I hope to learn more from you as well.”

Martin Kapombeza, ITF climate change working group member, Malawi