SINTRALOC, Chile New Focal Point Organisation of the Americas Region

The National Union of Independent Workers, Transport Hawkers and Allied Sectors – SINTRALOC,was founded on November 27th, 1987. Some of their objectives working are to ensure the welfare of its members and to fight for their interests at local and national level. Now it is also responsible for the coordination of regional affiliates in the Americas. Previously this responsibility had been entrusted to the CTCP, Nicaragua; however, in a democratic process of dialogue and discussion, SINTRALOC was elected by the majority of region members to do this work from this year.

SINTRALOC has been working in Chile to legalise labour activities of its members and to stop their persecution and criminalisation. So far they have achieved recognition from central government who they are working with, recognition of all the rights of other citizens and are currently discussing the issue of mono-tribute (taxation) so the sector is included in health benefits, social security, access to housing, etc…

The process that led to SINTRALOC being elected as focal point organisation of the region began shortly after the regional meeting in August 2013 which was held in Managua, Nicaragua. A process of bilateral discussion between SINTRALOC and other affiliated organisations and group discussions through teleconferencing occurred. In conclusion everyone agreed that the responsibility of the focal point should be done in a rotating system and not stay in one country only, providing all countries with the opportunity to work for regional coordination.

Then affiliates conducted an election among all to choose the next organisation who would be responsible from 2014 to run the coordinating structure. Nominated for election were FOTSSIEH, Honduras and SINTRALOC, Chile. Most members believed that SINTRALOC at this juncture could have a special drive and draft a plan of work that all will agree on. This will open a space for the focal point to be strengthened by improving regional communication and solving strategic deficiencies in the region. The rotation of the focal point was due to a need felt by most affiliates in the region for being able to give a more dynamic role to the focal point.

Later it was reported at the meeting of the International Council of StreetNet, the decision taken by all members of the region and the international council ratified that SINTRALOC, Chile now bears the responsibility for coordinating the region. They want to do this through a dynamic communication and implementation of its work plan. They will have to find their own funds to manage the regional office maintain an updated list of members in the region and all contact details; discuss and formulate regional strategies with regional members and report to Congress on progress in the regional structure.

The process has already started with innovative proposals, ongoing communication with members of the region, and enhanced focus the main concern of gender participation.