2023 has been a challenging year for COTRADO ALAC, for the management team and its Interim Executive Committee members. However, the representatives were able to learn about different realities and laws because many of the activities were carried out outside Latin America. The management team has made every effort to meet the demands of the workers and continues its grassroots work throughout the continent.
COTRADO ALAC is working in the following countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Peru and Uruguay. Our objectives are ambitious: we seek to deepen organizational work, strengthen constitutional work in these countries, outline local and global objectives, as well as promote grassroots democracy. We also seek to strengthen existing entities, inviting new partners, while increasing our membership and strengthening economic autonomy in the region.
Solidarity with workers in the four sectors of the informal economy
COTRADO ALAC also promotes solidarity among workers in the four sectors of the informal economy: domestic workers, street vendors, waste pickers and home-based workers. In addition to participating in intersectoral events, we will be developing a solidarity document that identifies the common difficulties and needs of all these sectors in order to produce a common strategy for visibility, rights and power. It is important to note that Chile has a statistical profile on informal employment by WIEGO, available in English and Spanish.
Below we highlight two events related to our Latin American reality that involve the four sectors:
COTRADO ALAC through ATEMDO participated in the 3rd Cross-sector Meeting with organizations of informal economy workers, which took place from May 15 to 18 in Brazil. Participants included home-based workers, domestic workers, street vendors, waste pickers and, for the first time, transport application workers.
The main activity of the meeting was the launching of a parliamentary front authored by Deputy Vicentinho with the collaboration of other deputies. A front based on ILO Recommendation 204, which deals with the transition from informality to formality and which is currently in the process of collecting signatures of deputies for its official launching. The common goal of COTRADO ALAC is the formal recognition of home-based workers.
The meeting also involved the delivery of two letters, one to the Minister of Labor and Employment of Brazil, Luiz Marinho, and the other to the President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was unable to attend. The letters contained the demands that these five sectors should take to the political representatives to make their voices heard.
One of the highlights of the visit and participation was in the recycling cooperative COOPCENT, which showed us the reality and needs of workers who are organized collectively and in solidarity.
CONATRADO participated in the 4th Cross-sector Meeting held between street vendors, waste pickers, domestic workers and home-based workers which was facilitated by WIEGO in March, representatives of the ILO, government authorities and the CUT Chile were also present. At the meeting, a debate was held on the informality that affects a large proportion of the labor force, and it was agreed to continue engaging with multiple organizations that experience the same situation, with the aim of promoting and proposing policies and actions, consistent with the recommendations of the International Labor Organization, aimed at making a new model of social security and job security feasible.
Knowledge Exchange between COTRADO ALAC and HomeNet Africa
We also highlight the visit of our representative from El Salvador, Isela Beltran, representative of SITRABORDO who traveled to Uganda to the HomeNet Africa preparatory meeting for the HNI Congress in Nepal. During the visit Isela was able to make important observations about home-based work in Africa based on her visit to the workplaces of home-based workers in that country.
COTRADO ALAC at ILC 2023
We were present and represented by Edileuza Guimarães (Brazil), member of the Executive Committee of Homenet International and president of ATEMDO, at the 111th International Labor Conference at the ILO – International Labor Organization, in Geneva – Switzerland. The tripartite negotiation meeting between Workers, Government and Employers, focused on the discussions of Just Transition and Social Protection, very important topics to strengthen a fairer and more solidary society, especially regarding the empowerment of home-based workers, being, therefore, the discussion of this great event the highlight of our institutional work to influence each of our governments this year.
Our annual and five-year plan, developed to expand and deepen our work throughout the Latin American continent, focuses on increasing our strength and power, basic democracy, increasing the number of members and institutions covering the 33 countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, to ensure the construction of greater financial autonomy.
As a key date, we are preparing the COTRADO ALAC Congress to elect the leadership of the regional network in October 2023, where we will discuss our past, our present and, above all, our future.