Last Updated: Tuesday, 16 September 2014, 13:37 GMT

2011 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Liberia

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 - Liberia, 8 June 2011, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ea661fcc.html [accessed 17 September 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: 3,900,000
Capital: Monrovia
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 105

The legal framework for trade union activities remains lacking until the labour law is reformed. There are also problems in applying trade union rights in practice, although there were encouraging signs during the year, notably the signing of an agreement with steel giant ArcelorMittal guaranteeing the respect of trade union rights.

TRADE UNION RIGHTS IN LAW

Many shortcomings in the labour law exist, although promises of a reform were made by the Labour Minister in 2006. The Constitution guarantees freedom of association, but employees of state-run enterprises and the civil services cannot form trade unions. In addition, the laws on anti-union discrimination are deficient, and do neither award sufficient protection against discrimination during recruitment or at work, nor do they protect unions against employer interference. Finally, the government's Labour Practices Review Board has the right to supervise trade union elections, and workers in state enterprises do not have collective bargaining rights. Legal strikes are once again on the agenda due to a 2006 law that annulled Decree 12 of 1980, which had banned strikes.

TRADE UNION RIGHTS IN PRACTICE AND VIOLATIONS IN 2010

Background: The economy is still in ruins as a result of the civil war, although access to health care and primary education has improved. Corruption is rife and unemployment and illiteracy are endemic. Inadequate police responses to persistent violent incidents and the failure to prosecute civil servants implicated in large-scale embezzlement resulted in increased criticism of the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf during the year.

Patchy respect of rights, but improvements at major multinationals: The government's record on including the Labour Congress in tripartite forums has been patchy and it has not managed to prevent big multinational companies from flouting union rights. There were improvements during the year, notably the signing of a historic protocol agreement between ArcelorMittal and the Forestry, Logging and Industrial Workers' Union of Liberia (FLIWUL) in March. This will guarantee trade union protection once ArcelorMittal begins its mining, rail and export operation in the country. In June, the second collective agreement between Firestone Agricultural Workers' Union (FAWUL) and Firestone Rubber Plantation was signed.

Social dialogue weak: Social dialogue remains weak in general and industrial disputes tend to turn violent, notably on the plantations.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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