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2011 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Congo, Republic of

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 - Congo, Republic of, 8 June 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ea6621728.html [accessed 11 July 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

Government commitments to implement social reform and to negotiate with the unions are constantly postponed. 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 2010

Background: The fiftieth anniversary of independence in August provided an opportunity for the political opposition and civil society to denounce the bad governance and the plundering of natural resources. This, in a country where 70% of the population live below the poverty line, despite the fact that the country has become the fourth largest oil producer in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Social truce under the guise of social dialogue: Social dialogue has made very little progress. These last years, there have been a series of social truces, broken promises, warnings to overly anti-authoritarian trade unions. At the beginning of May, the government called the unions to task about the need not to endanger the State's solvency. The Minister of State, Florent Tsiba, said he was "outraged" by the strike in April by the Fédération des travailleurs de la science, des sports, de l'enseignement, de l'information et de la culture (FETRASSEIC) which could in his opinion, have led to "dangerous tensions and chaos".

Employers' reluctance to negotiate has led to strikes, some of which have been very long such as the strike at the Société nouvelle des ciments du Congo (SONOCC). A national committee for social dialogue is due to be set up in 2011 to replace the social truce commission.

Two elected trade union leaders not recognised by employers: The Agence nationale de l'aviation (ANAC) which will be privatised in a process, considered opaque by the trade unions, refused to recognise Béatrice Mbani and Daniel Adoua, elected secretary general of their respective trade unions on 13 July during the Worker's General Assembly. In October, differences were ironed out during a meeting of the social partners that did little to reassure the unions about the negotiation of a social plan for the 800 ANAC workers.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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