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2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Congo, Republic of

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 9 June 2010
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Congo, Republic of, 9 June 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c4fec84c.html [accessed 24 April 2014]
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: 3,700,000
Capital: Brazzaville
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

Social dialogue was constantly rebuffed by the government which continually postponed reforms. Despite some guarantees, the legal framework for trade union activities remains weak.

Trade union rights in law

The Constitution and the Labour Code provide for basic trade union rights, although some workers, including some public administration employees, are excluded. The law bans anti-union discrimination, but does not provide for sufficiently dissuasive sanctions, and is not backed up by any effective and rapid procedures. Unions have the right to bargain collectively, but may not negotiate on deduction of trade union dues from employees' pay.

In order to call a lawful strike, all conciliation and non-binding arbitration procedures must have been exhausted. For strikes in services that are "essential for protecting the general interest", a minimum service must be established. The minimum service is organised by the employer and refusal to take part is considered gross misconduct.

Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2009

Background: On 12 July, Denis Sassou-Nguesso was re-elected president with 78% of the votes in a ballot boycotted by the opposition. Corruption and plundering of natural resources have kept the population in abject poverty. At the end of 2009, nearly 100,000 Congolese from the DRC fled violence at home to seek refuge in the Republic of Congo.

Labour reforms negotiated with unions repeatedly postponed: The government's announcement of new austerity measures when it presented its 2010 budget in November roused the anger of the trade unions. All year long the government had been promising that it would pay more attention to their salary demands. On 9 December, the Congo Workers' Trade Union Confederation (CSTC), the Congolese Trade Union Confederation (CSC) and the Teachers' Unions' College called a general strike for the end of the year. That evening, negotiations resumed between the unions and the government. A few days later, a new social truce was announced, with a promise from the authorities to accelerate reforms. For years the trade unions have denounced the social inequality perpetuated by the State, particularly in the civil service, where decrees dating back to 1994 suspend bonuses and other workers' advantages, seriously reducing their purchasing power.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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