During February and March management sensitisation was held at Tanalec in Tanzania, Ericsson in Zimbabwe, Panaco in the DRC and for Atlas Copco, Auto Sueco, Ericsson, Bayport, VerdeAzul and Tecnel in Mozambique. The training covered the impact of HIV and AIDS in the workplace as well as the SWHAP approach, which emphasizes cooperation between management and employees in the formulation and implementation of workplace HIV and wellness programmes. At the end of the training, managers from the three companies understood: the issues relating to HIV prevention and treatment at the workplace, the processes involved in setting up a workplace programme, the advocacy role of management in communicating the value of workplace programmes and the importance of creating opportunities for employees to take part in programme activities.
The Tanalec steering committee also underwent training to rebuild capacity for members to steer the workplace programme as a new committee was reconstituted after staff changes at the company. The steering committee started their policy review process to update the workplace HIV and AIDS policy to include gender and wellness.
In related news on steering committee training, on 12 February 55 members of La Confédération Syndicale du Congo (CSC) attended a steering committee capacity building workshop held during the Union’s annual meeting for its new members. The training covered transmission and prevention of HIV, benefits of HIV testing services and the development of action plans for HIV workplace programmes. 38 participants learnt their HIV status through testing services provided during the training.
CSC is a union confederation represented at national level in the DRC, a member of IndsutriALL and a great platform to expand the impact of SWHAP in the DRC beyond Swedish companies. The workshop in February reached representatives from 25 different companies.
Past experience has shown that successful and sustainable workplace programmes have the buy-in of both management and worker’s representatives and as such management sensitisation and steering committee training create a platform for mutual understanding.