Urgent Appeal for Practical International Union Solidarity in COVID19 Crisis

This is an urgent appeal from the Greater Manchester Social Action Branch (NW389) of Unite the Union on behalf of the Amalgamated Transport & General Workers Union (ATGWU) in Uganda to raise funds for the protection of union members and activists during the current coronavirus crisis which is sweeping through Africa.

Branch members work closely with ATGWU in supporting their astonishingly successful organisation of informal transport workers which has seen membership grown from 8,000 members to 100,000 in just five years, mostly minibus (‘taxi’) and motorcycle taxi (‘boda-boda’) workers, the backbone of Uganda’s passenger transport industry.

Today ATGWU and these workers face a major crisis.

On 25 March, with just four hours’ notice, President Museveni declared a suspension of all public transport. Many thousands of livelihoods were instantly cut off. Uganda has virtually no social security system and an impoverished health service. Some of the workers had meagre savings, which have now run out. The majority have nothing. Families are stuck at home with no food. Taxi and boda-boda industry workers are among the most vulnerable.

It is imperative that the taxi and boda-boda crews are able to get back to work as soon as possible, both to earn a livelihood, but also for the millions of people who depend on their service to get to work. ATGWU urgently needs support to mobilise organisers and provide members with training and PPE equipment, including masks, sanitisers, temperature guns and soap, for them to return to work.

If you can, please donate to ATGWU’s emergency fund, through:

gofundme https://uk.gofundme.com/f/support-ugandan-transport-workers-provide-ppe

Or directly through the bank account reserved for this purpose, with ‘ATGWU’ in the reference:

Account: GLI Network Ltd           Sort code: 40-11-56           Account Number: 10350702

For further information about the appeal or background information on ATGWU’s work in Uganda, please contact us at gli-uk@global-labour.net

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