CNTB: A new team to meet new challenges

Keywords : THE TRADE UNION BATTLE AGAINST COVID-19 Reports Organising And Workers Empowerment - Trade Union Unity Burkina Faso

The National Confederation of Workers of Burkina (CNTB) held on September 4 and 5, 2020, its 13th ordinary congress under the theme: << The CNTB at the heart of trade union action and the challenges of extending social protection in Burkina Faso >>. The official ceremony took place at the Ouagadougou Labor Exchange in the presence of the president of the high council for social dialogue, representatives of the joint Trade Union action, ITUC-Africa and the Minister of the public service, Labor and social protection.

At the opening of the proceedings, comrade Nana Inoussa, president for the month of the Joint trade union action, appreciated the theme of the congress chosen by the CNTB and wished that the proceedings reach strong conclusions that participate in fruitful struggles. In the same dynamic, comrade Toe Joseph, program coordinator at ITUC-Africa, was delighted with the holding of this 13th congress and welcomed its theme. He hoped that the CNTB would not limit itself to simple complaints, but would consider initiating a series of actions for better coverage of social protection, for more social justice in Burkina.

In turn, the president of the high council of social dialogue congratulated the national confederation of workers of Burkina for the organization of its 13th congress which, for him, testifies to the vitality and dynamism of the organization. He congratulated and thanked the CNTB for its various contributions to building a world of work characterized by more social justice and economic progress. For him, since its creation, the CNTB has always fought for the continuous improvement of the living and working conditions of workers, without forgetting its multiple contributions to the construction of an economically prosperous Burkina. He recognized that unions, contrary to what some might think, are essential actors in society if we want to build a world of work with more equity and social justice. They are a real force of proposal and strive for the labour education of its activists and that contributes to raising awareness, he concluded.

Given the global health crisis, the delegations of sister trade union organizations from Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Niger, Senegal and CNTB partners such as the CSC de Liège were unable to attend. However, they showed their solidarity and support through messages.
"It is very difficult, when you are concerned, to make a quick assessment of twelve years. However, our objective at the beginning was to make the CNTB a well-organized structure on all fronts in order to defend the rights of workers. To this, on the whole, we are satisfied” declared Comrade Blaise Augustin Hien, outgoing Secretary General of the CNTB.

For him, the theme of this 13th congress is an invitation to not only define a Trade Union strategy based on values which are among others solidarity, democracy and social justice for the next four years, to capitalize on the achievements of the ending mandate and to lay the foundation for the structural innovations of a stronger and conquering CNTB for the promotion and extension of social protection in Burkina Faso nut also to adopt a true compass, which will orient and govern in a virtuous way the actions of the new executive.

Finally, he hoped that activists could redefine new strategies better suited to the socio-economic context of Burkina Faso to build a stronger CNTB.
At the end of the congress, a committee of 15 members was set up. It is headed by Zanté Marcel who thus becomes the new Confederal Secretary General of the CNTB for a four-year term.

As a reminder, the CNTB, the former local union of the French Confederation of Christian Workers, is one of the six trade unions center in Burkina. It was founded in 1949 under the name of << Confédération française des Travailleurs Chrétiens / Sous -Section de Haute-Volta (CFTC-SSHV), under the affiliation of the Confédération Française des Travailleurs Chrétiens (CFTC) of which it bore the last name. In 1956, African Christian unions created the African Confederation of Believing Workers (CATC) to take Muslims and other African beliefs into account. At the 1972 congress, the CATC-HV became the National Confederation of Voltaic Workers (CNTV) then CNTB from 1984, to comply with the change of name of the country to Burkina-Faso
Today the CNTB has more than 30,000 members and operates in several sectors. These include energy, mining, textiles, hotels, restaurants, transport, education and research, etc.

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