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2011 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Angola

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 - Angola, 8 June 2011, available at: [accessed 1 December 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: 18,500,000
Capital: Luanda
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 182

Trade union activity is still closely monitored by the authorities. The legal framework is still unfavourable for trade unions.


Although the new Constitution adopted on 21 January 2010, guarantees fundamental trade union rights, they are excessively restricted. The procedures to set up a trade union are long and cumbersome and the law stipulates that grassroots organisations must include at least 30% of the workers in their activity sector. Collective bargaining is limited in the public service as the law stipulates that collective disputes can be resolved through obligatory arbitration by the Labour Ministry.

Although the right to strike is recognised, an excessively high quorum must be obtained when holding a strike ballot. The list of categories of workers excluded from the right to strike also exceeds the ILO's definition of "essential services" Furthermore the law stipulates that the Council of Ministers is entitled to suspend the right to strike when a "situation threatens the peace or is a public nuisance". The requisitioning of workers in the postal services, the fuel industry, public transport and the food industry is also permitted. Anti-trade union discrimination is forbidden but the law does not contain any effective measures to prevent employers from taking retaliatory action against the strikers.


Background: The new constitution entered into force in February, consolidating the president's de facto powers over state institutions and abolishing direct elections for the president. In April parliament passed a law to curb Angola's endemic corruption. Separatists from the oil-rich Cabinda state continued to carry out sporadic attacks in their fight for independence.

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.

Little respect for rights: Workers' organisations are closely monitored by the authorities, particularly in the strategic oil and diamond industries. The authorities and employers have shown little tolerance for protest action. There are frequent and repeated warnings. Any social unrest is met with reminders about the need for the country's economic recovery, discipline at work and for dialogue as the only possible solution to workers' demands. Freedom of expression is quashed just as much as freedom of association, if not more so, hence union demands or grievances are rarely mentioned in the press.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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