Taiz Syndicates: Difficulties & Ambitions [Archives:2000/39/Reportage]

September 25 2000

Imad Al-Saqqaf
Yemen Times Bureau Chief
Amid the rapid growth of different syndicates, one wonders if they have achieved what their members have aspired for.
What can syndicates do for their members who are continuously harassed by authorities? Have they been established to meet the government or peoples demands? Why do you find more than one syndicate for the same sector of workers?

Barbers Syndicate in Taiz:
It was established in February 2,1999 under the supervision of the Labor Office, the General Federation of Trade Unions, a representative of the governorate office plus a representative of the GOs. The Syndicate includes 400 members who hold their monthly meetings to discuss their own affairs.

The Syndicate Services:
The syndicate conducts field visits, organizes training courses and defends members rights against all kinds of harassment they are prone to by authorities such as representatives of Construction and Housing office, taxes, etc.
Mr. Ryadh Al-Qusaimi, chairman of the syndicate said that the syndicate was officially licensed. However, he said that it was not supported by the government. We hope that there will be no further violations of our work such as the work permissions issued by the Labor Office to foreigners, he said.
Moreover, he expressed the syndicates ambitions to establish an institute for barbers and coiffeurs. We are ambitious to have contacts with similar Arab and foreign syndicates, he added.
Mr. Al-Qusaimi concluded his speech by calling upon international organizations to support the Barbers Syndicate in Taiz.

Tailors Syndicate
It was established in 1999 on the basis of an agreement with the Ministry of Labor with the objectives: Improving tailors income and defending their rights. The syndicate embraces 930 tailors out of whom are 320 women. The syndicate also coordinates with the Yemen-German project to develop small enterprises.

The syndicate works to increase local products and provide more job opportunities for unemployed people. It also defends its members against all harassment by taxes, duties, housing and planning offices etc. We have complained to the governor and we are still following up this issue, said chairman of the syndicate.
He highlighted the syndicates plans to publish a circular for tailors affairs.
One of the problems facing the syndicate, as he explained was the overflow of Somalis and Ethiopian refugees who started practicing work in a random way. These have affected our work for offering very cheap work, he said. We also suffer from the increase of monitors and lack of qualified laborers, he added.

We hope to increase local products, provide more job opportunities, improve tailors skills and open offices for the syndicate in the other Yemeni governorates.

Yemeni Teachers Syndicate.
Mr. Abdul Aziz Sultan Al-Mansoub, advisor to the Ministry of Education and vice chairman of the syndicate said that the syndicate was established in 1990 to follow up the needs of teachers. Since its establishment it has been calling for teachers rights, providing health services for teachers, organizing training courses for them, helping them to perform pilgrimage, supporting them when getting married and in other different cases.

Nature of its work
The syndicate deals with the government according to the constitution. We have welcomed the Presidents calls for a unified syndicate for teachers and we are working for that, said Al-Mansoub.

Efforts for unity
There must be a unified syndicate identity to meet the needs of all teachers. For its part, said Al-Mansoub the syndicate has presented a number of projects to unify the two teachers syndicates last of which was presented during the meeting of Speaker of the Parliament with Ministers of Education, Social Affairs and legal Affairs.

Mr. Al-Mansoub expressed his hopes that teachers will be more psychologically and socially stable. In addition, he hoped that teachers would be granted all due rights in order to improve the educational performance.
At the end, he called upon the Ministers of Education, Civil Service and Finance to finalize procedures to grant teachers their financial dues.