Trade Union Media [Archives:1998/40/Business & Economy]

October 5 1998

Supervised by the General Federation of Trade Unions (GFTU) and the American Solidarity Center, a seminar on trade union media was held from September 29 to October 1 in Sanaa. The seminar dealt mainly with the experience of the GFTU concerning labor culture and media. The papers presented in the seminars were:
1. Journalism in the Yemeni Labor Movement.
2. The Egyptian Labor Movement – raising the level of the labor media as viewed by the labor journalism – the cooperation program with the American Solidarity Center.
3. Labor Journalism in Egypt.
4. The importance of internal and external communication.
5. Writing in journals.
6. A practical workshop on writing.
7. Ways and principles of directing journals – a workshop about that.
8. How to publish a journal.
About the working class in Yemen:
The working class began to appear just after British came into Aden on January 19, 1839. Step by step, this class started to take its place in society. The first labor conference was held in March, 1956.
First: Al-Amel newspaper of the Aden Trade Unions Congress:
The first issue of this newspaper was published in October, 1957 during hard political situations and a conflict between the British forces and the trade unions.
The paper reflected the unions strikes against the arbitrary laws that the British authorities issued such as the immigration and industrial arbitration laws. In October 1958, the newspaper was closed because of that. But again it was reissued after the strikes of October, 1958.
In August, 1960, the newspaper called for a general strike which led to the declaration of a state of emergency to closing the newspaper in the same month. At the end of 1960, it was republished but not for so long. It was closed again by the British authorities.
Al-Amel was the first official newspaper of the Aden Trade Unions Congress (ATUC) between 1957-1960.
Second: Al-Omal newspaper:
On April, 24th, 1965, the British authorities allowed several newspapers to be published including Al-Omal newspaper. Al-Omal was the second newspaper to become the mouthpiece the ATUC. Because of its patriotic stance, the newspaper was closed in August, 1966. This made the ATUC, beginning from August 8, 1966, use the stencil machine to issue a daily paper to be an exact copy of Al-Omal newspaper.
Third: Sawt Al-Omal newspaper:
This newspaper was the mouthpiece of the Central Council of the Trade Unions General Association. It was established in Aden in January, 1969. During the one-party ruling system, the newspaper worked for labor and trade unionist movement.
The editing staff of the newspaper changed from time to time until the unification of Yemen on May 22, 1990. Unfortunately, the newspaper began to take a turn for the worse before unification. Supplied by information from the leaders of the Socialist Party and its civil corporations and intelligence apparatus, it published many fake stories. It was able, though, to distribute 80 copies a week. Moreover, it was later published in the US after its editor-in-chief paid an official visit there.
Fourth: Al-Omal newspaper:
According to the decision of the Central Council in its August 22, 1994 session, the newspaper was first published after the government forces defeated the separatists in January, 1995. Because most of its editors escaped outside the country, a new editing staff was formed for the newspaper.
Fifth: Al-Omal journal,
It is a seasonal journal published first in Sanaa in September, 1984. As it lacked support and facilities, it was closed in May, 1990.
Ahlam Al-Mutawakil,
Yemen Times