Alain St.Ange – President of the New Seychelles Labor Union
The “Seychelles Labor Union” (SLU) has been born following a meeting of a group of workers at the Savoy Hotel on Wednesday the 4th October 2017.
It was at 5:00 PM when a group of workers and also members of the self-employed community gathered at the Savoy Hotel to be counted as founding members for a new Trade Union in Seychelles. They came from all professions and from diverse employment groups. From teachers to health workers, from stevedore workers to landscape gardeners, to musicians and entertainers, office workers, taxi drivers, truck drivers and shop owners were all present.
It was Alain St.Ange, Paul Chow, Bernard Port-Louis and Peter Sinon who opened the meeting with short addresses to explain broad objectives and the reasons for the creation of a politically independent Union. Recognise, Respect and Remunerate workers equals a Responsible workforce was the theme discussed and adopted as the motto of the SLU.
The history of Trade Unions in Seychelles has thus far been a strong liaison between the Unions and Political parties. SLU makes a new departure as the very first independent Trade Union in this new era. Peter Sinon informed the founding members of his resignation as a Central Committee Member of Parti Lepep for the district of Au Cap to ensure the independence of the leadership of the Union.
Communication, Awareness and Information sharing: were deemed as critical factors of success and for member/workers education. Thus a monthly SLU Newsletter will be launched.
Membership Contribution: It was agreed that membership contribution of the Union will be SCR25 per month. However, if one choses to pay an annual contribution he/she will benefit from a two month discount and rather than SCR300 they will only pay SCR250.
On the question of the operating location of the Union. Members were assured that it will be in Victoria and soon the specific office space will be confirmed.
Election of Office Bearers of the Seychelles Labor Union.
The following office bearers with designated responsibilities were elected and nine Executive Committee Members were also duly nominated and subsequently elected by show of hand by all present. This founding group of elected officials will be revisited at the next meeting in December when SLU will be opting to have Executive Committee Members to represent the different groups of workers and the self-employed.
The complete Executive Committee of the SLU comprises of the following:
– A. St.Ange President
– H. Anthony Vice – President
– P. Sinon Secretary General
– C. Savy Treasurer
– M-F Marie Secretary
Executive Committee Members:-
- B. Port-Louis
- S. Sultan
- D. Nancy
- S. Adeline
- G. Sopha
- D. Hoareau
- E. De Stefani
- A. Poussou
- A. Adonis
Alain St.Ange explained that the Seychelles Labor Union (SLU) will work for the betterment of working conditions as well as working to ensure the right conditions to work for those who are employing workers and venturing as self-employed entrepreneurs. The SLU will be working to be associated with other important Trade Unions of the World to benefit from their experience and support.
Alain St.Ange emphasised that the SLU makes a new departure as the very first Independent Trade Union and is not affiliated with party politics as he congratulated the movement’s founding members present coming from across the political divide for being present. Today the Government of the day can propose a new regulation that can better the lives of Seychellois who are employed and also for those who venture out by being what is today called the self-employed. The Opposition in the Seychelles National Assembly can also, on their part, propose a Private Members Bill if and when they feel there is the need to bring about better conditions for the citizens of the country. This they have successfully shown can be done when they took up the issue for the Offshore Sector and their Private Members Bill was duly assented to by the Head of State.
After his election as the SLU President Alain St.Ange read a quote pronounced by Richard Branson that said:-
“It is the sense of seeing workers exercising a role by themselves and for themselves. We are already having opposition for our determination, but this is a sign of being effective. If there’s opposition, it means they’re noticing change”
“It takes ‘grabbing the bull by the horn’ actions to remind us of our common responsibility. The recent Stevedore Workers strike followed by a protest by Fishing Boat Owners happened for a reason, let us not forget that too soon” the representative from the teaching profession said.