It was a week of continuous activity for the Somali Congress of Trade Unions (SOCOTU) as they hosted a delegation of top officials from different trade union organizations of the world to the official opening ceremony of the new headquarters for the SOCOTU. The delegation included the president of Hak-Is confederation of Turkey brother Mahmut Arslan, the secretary general of the Organization of African Trade Union Unity (OATUU) brother Arezki Mezhoud, the president of Sudan Workers Trade Union Federation brother Yousif Ali Abdulkarim, the Chairman of National Organization of Trade Unions of Uganda brother Owere Wilson Usher, the Secretary general of Hak-is brother Osman Yildiz,vice president of Memursen Confederation brother Gunay Kaya, the Vice president of the international Confederation of labour movement (ICLM) brother Medeni Sevinc, brother Ahmed Halfaya of Hakis,brother Hussein Bahjat of Memursen and Brother Samuel Waweru the secretary general of KENASVIT from Kenya.
The construction of the national headquarters of SOCOTU was funded by HAK-IS confederation in collaboration with Turkish cooperation and coordination agency TIKA. The building which comprises of 15 offices and two halls with ample parking facility was officially opened on Tuesday the 25th of July,2017 by Hak-IS president together with the deputy speaker of Somali federal parliament Honourable Abdiweli Ibrahim Sheikh Mudey , the Minister for Labour and Social affairs Honourable Salah Ahmed Jama and SOCOTU chairman general brother Mohamed Osman Haji. Also present in the event was the Deputy head of Mission of Turkish embassy in Mogadishu Alican Aksoy, TIKA coordinator brother Galip, head of civil service commission brother Hassan Abshirow and members of parliament.
It is through trade union solidarity that Somali workers have today got a new headquarter thanks to Hak-Is confederation for supporting this noble project. The President of Hak-Is brother Mahmut Arslan while speaking at the event declared his organization’s commitment to support the Somali workers and asked its youthful leadership to serve the interests of their members. He said, “ the people of Turkey will always stand with the people of Somalia and we are happy with the close relations we have with SOCOTU”
Mahmut Arslan mentioned the importance of Trade union solidarity and encouraged SOCOTU leadership to focus on developing strategies that will benefit the Somali workers. During their stay the delegation paid a courtesy call to the Speaker of the Federal parliament who later on hosted a reception lunch at his home in Villa Hargeisa in Mogadishu. The Speaker of parliament who is also a veteran trade unionist Prof. Mohmed Osman Jawari thanked the international delegates for their visit and in particular Hak-Is for their support to SOCOTU in the construction of their national headquarters. He emphasized the role of trade unions to the growth of a country’s economy and reminded the visiting delegation that Somalia was once an active member of global trade union organizations. He assured the guests of his commitment to support the struggle of the young leadership of SOCOTU and commended them for the excellent work they have done in returning Somalia’s image to the global trade union forums.
The delegation also visited Turkey embassy in Mogadishu and were received by the deputy head of Mission. A bouquet was organised in their honour by the embassy and was attended by the leadership of SOCOTU. During their stay the international delegation also paid a courtesy call to the speaker of the Senate Hon. Abdi Hashi who thanked them for their visit and assured them of his commitment to support the growth of trade Unions.
The construction of this new headquarter lays the foundation for steering trade union activities in Somalia which have constantly being undermined by individuals and organizations with selfish interests who do not bear the interest of the Somali workers at heart. The chairman General of SOCOTU brother Mohamed Osman Haji while speaking at the opening ceremony thanked Hak-IS confederation for their help and brotherhood and mentioned the challenges that the SOCOTU has faced in the completion of this project. The chairman general sent a message to all Somali workers and assured them that he will not rest until their rights are fully secured. The chairman also sent a message to international organizations to desist from interference into the activities of SOCOTU and give the free will of the Somali workers a chance. He urged all individuals or organizations who would want to help Somali workers to establish facts on the ground and avoid engaging with individuals they cannot trace their record. He said, “with the loss of central authority for Somalia there increased individuals and organizations out there who claim fake titles to gain selfish interests and I warn the international to avoid engagement with such people”.
The Minister of Labour and Social affairs HE Salah Ahmed Jama while speaking at the ceremony declared that his government will respect the independence of Trade Unions and will continue to engage them as important partners in ensuring economic growth and decent work for all the Somali workers. He also thanked Hak-Is confederation for their support to SOCOTU and urged them to continue working in solidarity with their Somali brothers.
Finally the SOCOTU wishes all Somali workers a happy and prosperous future.