It’s the end of the funding from ABVV but not all is lost – De Groote

Shakespeare Sesani, the General Secretary, signing the agreement

Shakespeare Sesani, the General Secretary, signing the agreement

The funding from ABVV to Hotels Food Processing Catering Workers Union (HFPCWU) is expected to come to an end this December after running for almost four years.

 

According to the project manager Stefan De Groote normally the project runs for two years and after that there is no extension so it took him to convince his government to come back and fund the project for another two years.

 

De Groote made the revelation in an interview at Mount Soche Hotel, Blantyre soon after the shop steward training where he was acting as a trainer.

 

He however stressed that all is not lost because there will be a new partner who will be funding the problem only that this time around it’s not going to be tax payers’ money but it will come from another union. “This is solidarity in action.”

 

“I had to convince my government to extend the funding on this project because I knew the Hotels Union was not ready by then to stand on its own but now am happy that my proposal was approved and the six months which is remaining the union will be able to carry on with some important activities,” said De Groote.

 

De Groote admitted that it was hard for the leadership of the Hotels Union to carry on with their activities without funding which was approved some time back only to be released recently.

 

His expectations is to see Hotels Union strong, growing and standing on its own as and also to hear that its bargaining on sector level. This would mean that even not organized companies will benefit from the efforts of HFPCWU.

 

“I am very satisfied with the results that HFPCWU managed to realize during the project,” said the project manager.

 

After this visit Stefan De Groote is expected to come one more time for final evaluation before handing over the project. It will be participative evaluation with a representative group from leadership, shop stewards and the organizers. He will also capacitate another group on new shop stewards.