Nassali Janepher, Organizing
As flower farms in Uganda, many young workers earn less than a dollar a day working shifts that sometimes last 13 hours, 365 days a year. These workers face terrible conditions – women sometimes give birth among dangerous, and often banned, chemicals at the farms because maternity leave is confused – and any attempt to complain about conditions results in punishment from the farm managers.
Nonetheless, UHISPAWU – the union for horticultural workers, led by Nassali – has achieved some success, securing a recent 10% pay raise (about $3 a month more per worker). However, many farms refuse to implement the pay raise even though the agreement has been signed.
East Africa Team Member Suzan Wilmot met Nassali through a mutual acquaintance. As someone involved in building social movements, Suzan was moved by the efforts of Nassali and her colleagues, and inspired by their dedication to improving working conditions and selected them to receive a flow fund grant.
In order for the work of UHISPAWU to continue and grow, they need more members. This grant will help them to recruit new members, print posters and leaflets about the benefits of joining a union and what to do when you face workplace abuse, and to build the strength of this vital movement.