Rail Sans Frontière

International and regional rail workers’ network

The union movement in Senegal is mainly present (as in the other countries of the region) in the public sector. As consequence of the foreign debts and the structural adjustment policies demanded by the international financial institutions, privatisation is one of the key changes in the countries of the region. This process also involves a form of ‘re-colonisation’ as French companies like France Télécom, SNCF, Electricité de France, etc. often buy majority stakes in the new private companies. ?The official labour movement consists of three labour centres: the ‘Confederation Nationale des Travailleurs du Senegal’ (CNTS); ‘Coordination des Syndicats Autonomes’ (CSA) and ‘Union Nationale des Syndicats Autonomes du Senegal’ (UNSAS). Co-operation between the three centres is seldom because of political disputes.

Since 2000 TIE together with French SUD Rail activists is in contact with grass-roots activists from all three centres. Together we organise activities to initiate genuine and democratic trade unionism. The union practice in Senegal, as in most (African) countries has a lot of internal problems concerning real democracy and participation from the members. Often the union structures don’t work: members have little influence on the policies of the unions. As a result, there is for instance little resistance from the union leadership towards the social consequences of the re-adjustment programmes, privatisation, etc.

Concretely the work of TIE involves working with and supporting workers who are part of already existing (international) networks in the public sector like railway, post, telecom and education in order to strengthen these cross-union networks and so enabling the Senegalese labour movement to bundle its powers.

Also TIE is involved in setting up a ‘worker centre’ in Dakar as an independent space where workers can meet, exchange experiences, use computers, get consultation and capacity building trainings etc.

Lastly, we are also involved in building up and supporting a network of workers and activists against the railway privatisation in West Africa. This network consists of rail workers and activists from railway unions in the different parts of West Africa. Outside of Africa the network cooperates with rail unions in Europe; in French, Spain, Great Britain and Germany.
For earlier activities related to this project, see our Activities Archive

Car network

DaimlerChrysler Coordination

Rail network

Rail Sans Frontière

Chemical network

International and regional rail workers’ network

Railway Privatisation