Unionization in Industrial Parks: The Case of Hawassa Industrial Park
Keywords:Keywords: Unionization, Hawassa Industrial Park, Trade Unions, Workers’ Right
Trade Unions play various roles for the protection and realization of workers’ rights, such as decent raises, affordable health care, job security, and a stable schedule. Despite the emphatic recognition that has been shown in several international, regional and national
laws, the actual realization of the right to unionization has not been an easy task for the employees whose major decent work destiny hangs over the right to unionize. Therefore, the main objective of this study is to identify the legal frameworks regulating the right to unionize in the Hawassa Industrial Park (HIP) with the view of determining operational
challenges and entry point for advocacy. The study employed both doctrinal and nondoctrinal research methodology and a mixed research approach. Accordingly, relevant tools, interview, questionnaire and personal observation were devised. By doing so, the research showed that the majority of the employees are part of trade unions (75%) although the research also revealed the existence of different challenges with regard to unionization in Hawassa Industrial Park. Currently, one of the main problems in the formation and the activities after the formation of trade unions in HIP is low awareness of the workers, labour
union leaders and employers regarding unionization and its contributions. The employees, despite their membership in one of the unions, are not fully convinced that the union is established with the objective of protecting their rights at work place. Because of this lopsided understanding, they are not committed to the membership that has negatively affected the acceptance and effectiveness of the unions. Hence, it is recommended that there is a need to raise the awareness of the employees about the benefits of joining the unions beyond the mere membership. In order to improve the working conditions the employees’
commitment and participation in the unions should be reinforced.