Last Updated: Friday, 27 November 2015, 12:04 GMT

2008 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Angola

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 20 November 2008
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2008 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Angola, 20 November 2008, available at: [accessed 29 November 2015]
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: 17,000,000
Capital: Luanda
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

Irksome bureaucratic procedures are still applicable when trying to obtain union recognition or exercise the right to strike. Nurses and teachers have ignored these excessively strict rules and held "illegal" strikes.

Trade union rights in law

Government approval required: The Constitution provides for the right to form and join trade unions, although government approval is required and the procedures are cumbersome. Women and men engaged in domestic work or casual labour are excluded from the General Labour Act.

Strike restrictions: The right to strike is recognised, but strictly regulated. The law does not contain any effective measures to prohibit employer retribution against strikers, and the government can force them back to work under various pretexts. The law prohibits strikes by the armed forces, police, prison workers and fire fighters. The Strike Act was being revised (as of February 2006) and trade unions called for genuine tripartite consultation to ensure it complies fully with international labour standards.

Collective bargaining is recognised in law, and discrimination against union members is prohibited, but these rights are not consistently enforced.

The National Tripartite Commission has drafted some proposals for modifying the laws on trade unions, strikes and collective bargaining.

Trade union rights in practice and Violations in 2007

Background: Despite the fact that the country had the highest rate of economic growth in the world in 2007, boosted by oil revenues, and that it aspires to a leadership role in Southern Africa, most Angolans are still living in extreme poverty. The situation regarding human, trade union and media rights is still concerning five years after the end of the civil war

Rights not respected: In practice, the emerging process of democratisation and restrictions on civil liberties, still in place after the civil war, make it difficult for unions to enforce their rights or to carry out any activities without permission from the government.

Collective bargaining curtailed: Collective bargaining is restricted in its coverage. The government is the country's biggest employer and, through the Ministry of Public Administration, Employment and Social Security, sets wages and benefits on an annual basis. This involves consultation, but no negotiations with the unions.

Strikes often illegal owing to excessively long notice periods: Several unions organised strikes, but some of these, including the ones held by nurses in Benguela and by teachers in Luanda, were declared illegal by the government as the 30 days compulsory notice period had not been respected.

Harassment of a teachers' union: In February, a teachers' strike called by the Sindicato Nacional de professores (SINPROF) was held despite government attempts to thwart it and threats of sanctions.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

Search Refworld