by Pat Horn, StreetNet International Coordinator
During 2018 WIEGO (Women in Informal Employment: Globalising and Organising) assisted StreetNet by raising core funding which will include the financial support needed for the Sixth International Congress, scheduled to be held from 9 – 12 April 2019 in Kyrgyzstan.
We have a well-coordinated team of young organisers who have been trained to run the operational activities of StreetNet going forward, one of whom has been trained to take over the Coordinator’s responsibilities after the Sixth International Congress, during the course of 2019. We are focussing our attention on how to strengthen StreetNet affiliates’ representative capacity of all street vendors and informal traders in the countries where StreetNet has affiliates.
This is being done primarily by means of negotiations skills training aimed at capacitating our affiliates to improve the lives of street vendors and informal traders through collective negotiations, in as many countries as possible. To this end, we encourage StreetNet affiliates to invite other organisations working in the sector of street vendors or even other sectors of workers in the informal economy or slum-dwellers to participate in the training with them.
In Liberia, StreetNet affiliate FEPTIWUL as the most representative organisation of street vendors, has signed a new improved MoU with MCC (Monrovia City Corporation) in September 2018, and in October another one was signed with Gompa City municipality. Authorities and police have become increasingly unwilling to take unilateral decisions involving street vendors.
In Sierra Leone, StreetNet affiliate SLeTU as the most representative organisation of street vendors in the country, is recognised and respected by the authorities and police who now believe that it is a waste of time to take unilateral decisions involving street vendors. SLeTU is now involved in reviving Municipal Trade Committees (created by the Local Council Act 2004) as formal structures for local level collective bargaining system for street vendors in five municipalities.