TIE at Women Workers’ Summit 2009

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Hanka Heumakers and Franny Parren from TIE-Netherlands participated in the Women Workers’ Summit 2009 that took place from 9-10 December in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Summit was organized by the Committee of Asian Women (CAW) and brought together women from more than 15 Asian countries. The objective was to discuss the impact of the economic crisis on women workers and to explore strategies of women at the frontline of sustainable solutions. TIE-Netherlands together with TIE-Asia facilitated the participation of three Mexican colleagues from CJM (Coalición pro Justicia en las Maquiladoras).

During the Summit different themes were discussed like the impact of the financial crisis on women workers and organizing in free trade zones (where the largest part of the workforce consists of young women). Franny Parren held a presentation on production mapping, which was appreciated by the participants as a very practical tool for organizing workers at the shop floor. Gumercinda de la Cruz del Angel, Beatriz Sanchez Díaz and Martha Ojeda from CJM shared their valuable experiences of organizing in free trade zones and the creation of workers committees at the level of the companies to avoid cooperating with the corrupt unions in Mexico. They referred to concrete examples how they used the method of production mapping. They explained how they were able to convince their colleagues of the value of their work and to motivate them to struggle and demand improvements of working conditions from the management.

The conference ended with a march to commemorate the 100 years anniversary of the International Women’s Day (2011) and to demand dignity and rights for all: as workers and as women. On Saturday 12 December we participated in an exposure trip and visited women in strike (formerly working at the Triumph multinational company) who set up an informal market at the premises of the ministry of labour of Bangkok. They have continuously been there since two months. The participants spoke with the women and expressed their solidarity for their struggle.

A more extended report will follow later.
For now please click here to read the presentations of Gumercinda, Beatriz, Martha and the final statement of the Summit.
For pictures see under “photos”.
(Franny Parren, Bangkok, 15 December 2009)
Powerpint presentation Betti.ppt346.5 KB
Powerpoint presentation Gume.ppt658 KB
Bangkok 12-10-09.ppt5.13 MB
WWS Statement.PDF64.8 KB

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