- Executive Summary
REWU is a Rwandan Extractive industry Workers Union, which is organizing all workers in Mining, Quarry Companies and cooperatives in Rwanda since 2014 and has a sounding experience in social dialogue with mine and quarry companies owners as well as to organize, mobilize and sensitize their employees. This sector employs around 120,000 workers.
Rwanda Extractive Industry Workers Union (REWU) is affiliated to CESTRAR (Central de Syndicats des Travailleurs au Rwanda) and National Commission of Human Rights (NCHR) at national level, to the COSOC – GL ”coalition des organisations de la societe civile luttant contre l’exploitation illegale des ressources naturelles dans la Region des Grand Lacs” (COSOC-GL), it is also an affiliate at international level to the IndustriALL Global Union, and to the Building Wood Workers International Union (BWI);
REWU is a key partner of Ministry of public services and labor (MIFOTRA), Rwanda mines, petroleum and gas board (RMB), Provinces and Districts in local government; Rwanda Mining Association (RMA) and Rwanda Quarry Association (RQA) as employers professional organizations in mining sector.
REWU was published in Rwanda Official Gazette No. 49 Bis of 08/12/2014.
On one hand, REWU acts as a channel through which workers or union members pass their ideas, problems and aspirations related to work in order to improve their well-being and on the another hand it has a duty of working with members, community and leaders at all levels to combat any form of child abuse and domestic violence.
2. There are 4 reasons why REWU was established
2. 1. Making Advocacy for Labour Rights, safety and health at working place
When mining and quarry was becoming one of the most lucrative activities in our country, the number of workers in the country increased significantly, while a big number of them was deprived from their rights to remuneration because they were considered not productive, informal employees without contracts nor social security protection to RSSB, many death at working place due to accident and insufficiency of occupational safety and health at work place, etc….which in return had a negative impact on their livelihoods since the rights of the employees were not properly respected,
2. 2. Promotion of Saving Culture
Within the same framework, those who were to be paid, had to receive their salaries in hands, which in return results into failure to save and, based on such circumstances, REWU started mobilization campaign on developing saving culture among the industry workers by sensitizing employers to pay salaries via the financial institutions.
2. 3. Promotion of Rights of Women and Children in Mining and Quarry Industry
Since the Mining guidelines prohibiti
ng children from reaching mines and quarries, it was detrimental to pregnant women or those with children, they had to hide that they are pregnant or have children in order to stay at work and that put them (Women and Children) at risk because it would be a job to earn a living but still violate the rights of the child and the parent. Therefore, after realising all of those issues REWU started campaigning for the Establishment of ECDs near mines and queries sites where children are taken care while parents are safely continuing the job.
- Campaigning against Child labour
Children under the age of 18 also dropped out of school and came to look for work in mines and quarries that had no legal documents, and this is where REWU also decided to put more focus in order to campaign against Child labour.
Some children accompany their parents mostly in quarries in order to increase the production for getting more many as family, and other children are looking after the babies in the quarries, sugar cane, cross border business, road business, etc…. REWU fights for eliminating those kinds of job employed to the children.
- Bring together workers in areas of extractive industry and related activities to better defend their socio-professional interests;
- Maintain and develop, among the extractive workers, unity and solidarity
- Represent its members and defend their interests with their respective employers and associations of the latter, with different partners, public administration and the judiciary;
- Contribute to all decisions concerning extractive workers and their families;
- Fight against worst form child labor;
- Ensure strict enforcement of social legislation and respect of collective agreements;
- Work towards the promotion of democracy and social justice within companies
- Promote and develop socio-economic actions to improve the welfare of extractive workers
- Ensure participation of all extractive workers in business management and planning studies to improve their professional awareness and encourage improved performance for high productivity.