Friday, October 24, 2008


Successful Congress of the Saharawi Workers General Union (UGTSARIO)



The Congress of the Saharawi Workers General Union (UGTSARIO) finished its 6th works, held in the Wilaya of El Aaiun (Saharawi refugee camps) by electing a new leadership, a new Executive Bureau and many resolutions, letters, a national programme and final communiqués.

The Congress that took place from the 19 to the 21 October, was attended by 380 delegates representing the different sectors of Saharawi workers coming from the refugee camps, Mauritania, Algeria, Spain and France.

More than 67 international guests representing trade unions and organisations from the African Union, Algeria, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, Italy, Australia, Portugal, Norway, Greece, Mexico, Sweden, also participated to the activities organised, especially in the 4th International Trade Unions’ Conference of solidarity with the Saharawi workers, held on October 20.

A broad range of Sahrawi workers, amongst them teachers, journalists, health workers and jurists debated for three days to adopt its new national programme for the next four years until its next congress and elected new leadership.

On the first day of the Congress, Secretary General of the UGTSARIO, Mohamed Cheikh Mohamed Lehbib, presented the bureau’s financial and activities reports, before giving the floor to international delegations representing 16 trade unions.

The President of the Republic, Mohamed Abdelaziz who was accompanied by members of the POLISARIO National Secretariat, the Saharawi government and Parliament, also gave a speech recalling the important role played by the Saharawi workers since the start of the revolution since Spanish and Moroccan colonialism

The Congress constituted three sub-committees to prepare documents to be adopted, while the plenary session opened the debate on many questions related to the Saharawi workers’ situation, problems and needs, especially in the occupied zones and in the neighbouring countries where there is a growing Saharawi migrant communities.

The next day of the congress was marked by the organisation, by the international delegations, of the 4th Trade Unions’ Conference of solidarity with the Saharawi people, to debate over three main subjects; the Moroccan and international plundering of Western Sahara Natural Resources and the best ways to stop it, the question of the human rights and the Moroccan abuses of Saharawi workers’ rights, and the question of the support UGTSARIO needs from international trade unions to help the Saharawi organisation get membership in international trade unions’ federations.

The conference was attended by 23 trade union and organisation from 11 countries, representing more than 200 millions trade unionists, and they were all unanimous in supporting the Saharawi people’s right to self-determination and independence.

The sub-committees of the congress presented their reports in the second day, starting with the sub-committee of the constitution, the sub-committee of the national programme and the sub-committee of the letters and motions. In the end of the day, the Congress was able to start the elections on the post of the Secretary General.

Three candidates run the elections, the ex-Secretary General, Mohamed Cheikh, Mr. Hamma Dadi, and Mr. El Qadi, while 20 candidates run the election for membership in the Executive Bureau, which is composed of 8 members.

The Congress adopted 5 motions and sent six letters, in addition to the adoption of a national programme, the constitution of the organisation, and two final declarations one adopted by the delegates and the other adopted by the International Trade Unions’ Conference and presented to the congress to be endorsed.

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