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2011 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Chad

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 - Chad, 8 June 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ea6621a26.html [accessed 30 August 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

Social dialogue is flouted by oil companies and their subcontractors. In the public service, trade unions are equally ignored except when they threaten to strike; a right which is severely restricted.

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 2010

Background: The country, which ranks 163rd on the Human Development Index, already affected by a food crisis following a poor harvest in 2009-2010, has experienced renewed catastrophic floods since July which have affected 150,000 people. The population has never benefited from the country's oil exploitation. Economic growth is increasing but there is poverty and a widening social divide. The mandate of the United Nations Mission in Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT) ended on 31 December but there remain enormous humanitarian and political challenges in the east of the country. Parliamentary elections have been postponed until 2011.

Virtually non-existent social dialogue: In the education sector, a one-week strike which began on 15 February was declared "totally illegal" and the reason for the strike "untruthful" by the Ministry of Public Service and Labour. The claims of the Syndicat des enseignants du Tchad (SET) related to poor working conditions and the non-implementation of clauses of the special law relating to teachers.

The government refused to participate in a tripartite seminar on conflict prevention, management and resolution on 24 and 24 March. Nevertheless a new call was made to the government on this occasion for the relaunch of a national tripartite structure. In November, the two main trade union centres spoke out, threatening to strike on account of the government's unwillingness to take into account the high cost of living and to improve workers' living conditions. The Union syndicale du Tchad (UST) condemned the authorities' attitude who will not bargain with trade unions unless a strike is threatened and who subsequently do not deliver on the commitments made.

Trade unionists facing obstacles in the oil industry: Trade unions reported no improvement in their relations with the oil companies. The last few years, the management of Esso-Chad has also tried to scupper social dialogue. PETROSYNAT, the trade union which represents almost all employees of this subsidiary of ExxonMobil reported even greater difficulties with subcontracting firms. Security is used as a pretext for forbidding the union representatives from the various sites and companies from meeting in each other's offices. Trade union activists at the China National Petroleum Corporation International (CNPCI) who is responsible for the exploitation of a new oilfield will be even worse off with an employer who has refused to enter into any negotiations until the first barrel is extracted in 2011.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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