BEE-KEEPING CENTRE,
a Self-Financing Project for Training and
Organisation of Women Workers

During the course of our project we have described and proposed the urgency of a sustained improvement in one of the most weakened sectors of our society, women workers in precarious employment. For that, we suggest a process to include them in a socially integrating plan, making them participants in their own development and generating a culture of integration in society, in its political decisions and economic behaviour.

We have developed a plan of work that includes organisation and also the articulation of these organisations of workers to win their rights. Based on an idea of sustainability incorporating a wider set of dimensions relevant to the future of humanity – economic, social, political and cultural, overcoming the mere satisfaction of material needs, widening to an ethical perspective promoting freedom, solidarity, tolerance, pluralism and respect for the human being. Such values represent, definitively, the moral basis on which people can build a fully life and, to that extent, feel part of a global community with the responsibility and the mission to leave the legacy of a better world for future generations.

To this end, as well as the specific activities of the “Bee-keeping Centre” project, the grass roots organisations involved took part in meetings with other organisations of women workers, inter-sector meetings, round tables with regional government authorities, the Chilean social forum and attended workshops on gender, work and health.

The project had as objectives to initiate a self-financing process for the Training Centre for the Woman Workers, CECAM through creating a bee-keeping centre for production and training. At the same time, to replicate the experience with organisations of women home-based workers, so increase their income-generating possibilities and develop collective production for the benefit of their members.

The results, in general, were: women workers trained as beekeepers. the bee-keeping centre was built for CECAM and for two organisations, we began to sell honey and agreements have been made for pollination in the 2006 season.

“ (…) the most important thing is that with CECAM I learnt to respect myself as a woman and to value my work, now together we price our products and negotiate directly, without intermediaries

Patricia Cordero, President Trade Union nº 1

“ (…) in learning to calculate the cost of production we also included the labour power. Previously we did not know that the electricity, water and the hours of work had a value and we had to include them in the price. Now we also know that the elaboration of the products is called labour power and also has value, and we have to demand a fair price for it.”

Pilar Trejo, workers’ Leader