Last Updated: Friday, 19 December 2014, 13:25 GMT

2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Chad

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 - Chad, 9 June 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c4fec875.html [accessed 19 December 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: 11,200,000
Capital: N'Djamena
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

The president of the country's principal trade union centre escaped an attempt on his life. The most independent trade unions continued to face discrimination. In the oil industry both multinationals and local enterprises show scant regard for social dialogue. Union activities are thwarted by government intervention, and the right to strike is considerably limited in the public sector.

Trade union rights in law

Basic trade union rights are frustrated by interference by the authorities. Although the Labour Code protects unions against anti-union discrimination, it also obliges them to provide financial statements and receipts whenever labour inspectors so request.

The right to collective bargaining is enshrined in the Labour Code, which nevertheless allows for some government intervention. Finally, the Law of 9 May 2007 circumscribes the right to strike in the public sector. All industrial disputes must be submitted to the Conciliation Council established by the Law, and unions must announce the length of the strike prior to taking action. The authorities can unilaterally determine the extent of the minimum service in services deemed "essential" and the number of employees required, and are also permitted to requisition workers.

Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2009

Background: Armed raids by Sudanese-backed rebels and organised crime continued in the east of the country to the despair of the local and displaced populations and refugees. The country's oil earnings have done little or nothing to eradicate poverty.

Trade unionists facing obstacles in the oil industry: The management of Esso-Chad continued its efforts to wreck negotiations with staff representatives. PETROSYNAT, the union that represents almost all employees of this subsidiary of ExxonMobil, has still not managed to conclude a collective agreement with company representatives. The trade unionists reported, furthermore, that the employer has not responded to a summons from the labour inspectorate dated 20 March and that it has refused its arbitration. PETROSYNAT also reported even greater difficulties with the subcontracting firms, in which it has several hundred members. Security is used as a pretext for forbidding the union representatives from the various sites and companies from meeting in each others' offices.

Government contempt for representativeness: For several years, the authorities have strived to weaken the trade union movement by playing around with representativeness criteria and minimising the weight of the most independent organisations. Two notable examples are the distribution of subsidies to the trade unions and appointments to seats on the governing bodies of tripartite institutions. In a letter to the social partners dated 1 September, the Civil Service and Labour Ministry stated that "to avoid any frustration" it was going to involve "all trade union organisations, not just the national centres, in all discussions", which the Union of Chadian Trade Unions (UST) interprets as a clear attempt to undermine its position.

Assassination attempt against UST president: On 13 October, Michel Barka, president of the Union of Chadian Trade Unions (UST), was followed and threatened with a firearm. He managed to escape. Massalabaye Teneebaye, chairperson of the Chadian Human Rights League (LTDH), reported that he had also been tailed on the same day, and the following day. The police inquiry led nowhere. Both of these prominent Chadians are members of the Peace and Reconciliation Monitoring Committee (CSAPR) and have alerted the international authorities on several occasions to the insecurity and impunity rife in the country.

Trade unionists still being punished: Many trade union leaders and members are still being punished for their participation in the general strike of 2007, when disciplinary measures were taken and many unionists were transferred or relieved of their duties.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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