Last Updated: Thursday, 02 October 2014, 13:24 GMT

2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Mauritius

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 - Mauritius, 9 June 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4c4fec662d.html [accessed 2 October 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: 1,300,000
Capital: Port Louis
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

There was no change in Mauritius where employers in the export processing zones remain hostile to trade unions and migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to rights violations. In addition, the right to strike is seriously circumscribed.

Trade union rights in law

The 2008 Employment Relations Act in 2008 includes measures to promote collective bargaining, and also recognises the right to bargain at the sectoral level. However, many restrictions apply to the right to strike. To call a strike, a complex conciliation and mediation procedure must be exhausted, which can last up to two months in total. Both the requirement regarding the voting system and the necessary quorum in a strike ballot are excessive, and unions can not call a strike concerning general economic policy issues.

Furthermore, all demonstrations are prohibited during the sittings of the Parliamentary Assembly, as are all strikes at the national level. Even when a lawful strike is organised, the Prime Minister can request the Supreme Court to prohibit it and refer the dispute to arbitration. A minimum service must be established in far too many sectors.

Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2009

Background: The government promised measures to "eradicate total poverty" in its 2009 budget. At the same time, it introduced protectionist policies, pledging to send home 6,000 Bangladeshi workers, principally employed in the textile industry, by the end of the year.

Migrant workers: Migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to trade union rights violations. When these workers go on strike, the coordinated response of the employers and the authorities is frequently to send them back to their country of origin on the grounds of "breach of contract" and "illegal strike".

Export processing zones: Employers in the export processing zones (EPZs) remain hostile to the unions, which find it very difficult to approach the workers, given also that in most cases trade unionists are denied access to the industrial sites. As a result, union membership levels in the EPZs are below 12%. The competent ILO bodies have consistently highlighted the need for greater protection against acts of interference by employers and employer organisations in the activities of trade unions and the need for rapid appeals procedures and sufficiently dissuasive sanctions in this regard. The ILO's Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) has also urged the government to take measures for the promotion of collective bargaining in all areas of economic activity.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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