Last year, SWHAP worked in collaboration with the Federation of Kenya Employers, the Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers Union and the International Labour Organization to improve access to HIV and wellness services for long distance truck drivers from companies in Nairobi. Following the success of the Nairobi programme, phase two was launched in Mombasa on 27 July with management sensitisation for 13 companies. The event attracted senior management from the target companies who were sensitised about the partnership and the business case for employee wellness programmes. Management sensitisation was followed by training for the respective HIV focal points on 31 August.
The programme is a union employer partnership building capacity within the 13 organisations to set up and implement workplace HIV and wellness programmes and policies that protect the rights of HIV positive drivers. The ultimate goal of the initiative is to enhance testing uptake and access to services for long distance drivers by ensuring that the workplaces they come from have supportive policies and programmes in place.
The Union has been instrumental in motivating employer participation, ensuring 100% attendance by the target companies.
Before the project many employers saw us as their rivals. We have now developed a better way of relating. Indeed, the success of the Nairobi phase of the project is evident in the 100% attendance by the transporters we saw at the Mombasa phase launch. It means that the transporters are talking amongst themselves, convincing each other that the Union is not only concerned with wage negotiations but also offers other benefits.-Nicholas Mbugua, Kenya Long Distance Truck Drivers and Allied Workers Union
The KLDTAWU is no longer just offering roadside testing, but going into companies to provide a supportive environment for positive workers and prevention interventions for those that are negative. – Helen Mugutu, International Labour Organization
Compensation against discrimination based on HIV status is high. It is important for the employers to know how to address this. Policies are important they enable certainties in terms of decision making. – Isaac Kiema, Kenya Federation of Employers