Better Work Nicaragua – an overview
17 March 2017.
Managua – Better Work Nicaragua has a number of challenging objectives including increasing the international competitiveness of the country’s apparel industry. Since the launch of Better Work’s first pilot activities, positive results have been obtained through the support of government, employers organizations, and workers representatives.
The private sector employer’s organizations are made up of almost 30 committees, chambers, and organizations in each productive sector of the country. ANITEC is one of these committees and it oversees the textile and apparel industry.
The workers in Nicaragua are also organized and have union representatives, trade unions, and union associations. These unions, are organizations of workers dedicated to protecting the interests of its members which in most cases represent the interests of the entire labour force.
The Government of Nicaragua and its support to the Better Work Program is represented by three different agencies, which are PRONicaragua, the Comisión Nacional De Zonas Francas (CNZF), and the Ministry of Labour. PRONicaragua was a recently named government agency to promote and protect foreign investment in Nicaragua. CNZF is the National Committee in charge of all regulations for the entire Free Zone Sector.
The Ministry of Labor’s mission is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the workers. It also seeks to improve working conditions, advance opportunities for profitable employment and assure work-related benefits and rights. Globally, Better Work seeks similar objectives: to standardize and homologate the best work-related practices and standards. Better Work Nicaragua is bringing these objectives to its work in the country.
As BWN and the Ministry of Labor (MITRAB) have similar aims and responsibilities they cannot work separately, therefore in 2016 Better Work Nicaragua created and organized the Sharing Experience Professional Course for Labor Inspectors.
This professional course was conducted by highly trained staff and professional trainers including officers of the Better Work programme and trainers from MITRAB. The main objective of this course was to share knowledge based on experiences of both sides and see in what ways they can adapt the best possible solutions for the future.
In general, the Sharing Experience Professional Course was focused on labour inspections. The in-factory assessments of the experts of Better Work Nicaragua are based on the National Labour law, but at the same time, they incorporate good labour practices and global standards for the industry, being more thorough than other assessments and/or inspections.
To date, the major results of the programme have been the strengthening of institutional relations in the sector, the promotion of a knowledge sharing culture and the training of all national labour inspectors.