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2011 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Côte d'Ivoire

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 8 June 2011
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2011 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Côte d'Ivoire, 8 June 2011, available at: [accessed 31 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Population: 21,100,000
Capital: Yamoussoukro
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

The political crisis has prevented the full exercise of trade union rights. The absence of criteria governing representativeness and growing division continue to undermine the trade union movement. While there are limitations, fundamental trade union rights are guaranteed by law.


The Constitution of 23 July 2000 guarantees freedom of association and the right to strike in both the private and the public sector, but the guarantees are frustrated by a number of restrictions. Foreigners may not hold union office until they have been residents for at least three years, unless there is a reciprocal trade union and worker protection agreement with the foreigners' home country.

Workers are vulnerable to anti-union discrimination, as the Labour Code does not provide for sufficiently dissuasive sanctions. Also, all labour disputes must go through a complicated conciliation and mediation procedure. The President of the Republic may submit strikes in essential services to arbitration, but the Labour Code does not contain a list of services considered to be essential.


Background: At the end of the year, the country was again thrown into institutional chaos and violence. The independent electoral commission announced that Alassane Ouattara was the winner of the second round of presidential elections on 28 November, but the Constitutional Council, run by supporters of outgoing President Laurent Gbagbo declared the results invalid. All attempts at mediation were in vain. By year's end, political violence had already caused the death of over 200 people.

Union divisions encouraged, representativeness undermined: With no objective criteria set down in the labour code, there are no guarantees for the recognition of representative trade unions. This lack of precision has enabled both public and private employers to refuse to negotiate, while discrediting trade unions or repressing their activities. The socio-political chaos has weakened the trade union movement, and dissent has been encouraged in several public sector unions.

Still no reinstatement for the 39 SICOGI strikers: The Côte d'Ivoire General Workers Union (UGTCI) continued in vain to demand the reinstatement of 39 workers at the Côte d'Ivoire Construction and Real Estate Company (SICOGI), dismissed following a strike in December 2007. In 2009, the National Labour Council, a new tripartite institution set up to prevent and manage industrial disputes, had concluded that the dismissals were unjustified and that the employer had exercised a blatant abuse of authority.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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