Transport Employers Jump-start Federation


The Federation already has 13,000 members but aims for 50,000




Employers in the transport industry have formed, the Ethiopian Transporter Employers Federation, during a ceremony held at Capital Hotel & Spa last August.

The Federation aims to modernise the nation’s transport sector by working to ensure the rights of members are upheld, maximise the profitability of the industry and improve networking, according to the establishment prospectus.

“The Federation was formed to address the various existing problems in the transport sector,” said Berhane Zerue, president of the Federation, which has 18 board members representing different areas of the sector, such as public transport, oil transport, dry cargo and construction.

The Federation will also support the building of bus stations, the supply of spare parts, maintenance and fuel for its members.

“Previously, transport employers only formed groups at association levels and were never able to solve their problems and move forward,” said the president. “The private stakeholders were completely left out of the loop by the government when it came to the formulation of policies, laws and regulations and their voice and interest was not respected.”

With 7,900 members at its formation, the Federation has since gained 13,000 employers and aims to reach 50,000 members.

Mesele Hagos, vice president of the Federation, stressed how the country’s logistics is underdeveloped even by some neighbouring country standards.

“On the Ethio-Djibouti route, we only have 13,500 cross-border vehicles while the Kenya-Mombasa route hosts 80,000 vehicles,” he said.

Abebawu Dasa, one of the board members of the Federation representing the Addis Abeba Taxi Owners Association, argues that supply and demand still have not squared up despite mass investment by the government.

“To improve growth, the sector should be led by the private wing,” he said. “The government should support the sector by providing loan schemes and tax incentives.”

The Federation is considering joining the Ethiopian Employers Confederation and talks are underway.

A single employer can form an employers association, according to the nation’s law. Employer associations can jointly form a federation and federations can come together to create confederations.

Workers and employers have the right to establish and, subject to the rules of the organisation concerned, join associations of their own choosing without prior authorisation.

“We checked that the memorandum of association did not break the rules and regulations of the country,” Worku Alemu, industry communications high officer at the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs.

Mehari Redae (PhD) a long time labour law lecturer at Addis Abeba University said the legal framework is convenient for employers to form associations and federations easily.

“Such moves will increase their voice on various issues,” he said. “However, employees in the industry should form an association as well to balance the power dynamics.”



By KALEAB GIRMA
FORTUNE STAFF WRITER

Published on Oct 13,2018 [ Vol 19 ,No 963]


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