Last Updated: Friday, 19 January 2018, 17:46 GMT

2010 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Mali

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 - Mali, 9 June 2010, available at: [accessed 20 January 2018]
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: 13,000,000
Capital: Bamako
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

The unfair dismissal of strikers continued, including that of 100 strikers from the Morilla gold-mining company, as well as unfair transfers. Several trade unions have complained of the lack of social dialogue and discrimination by the authorities.

Trade union rights in law

Although basic trade union rights are recognised in law, a number of excessive restrictions still apply. Both the 1992 Labour Code and the 2002 Law on the General Status of the Civil Servants allow workers to form and join unions, including non-nationals but excluding top managers of the Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest.

Collective bargaining is guaranteed for both private and public sector workers. All workers have the right to strike, including civil servants, and there are no restrictions as to the form of the strike. However, Article L.229 of the Labour Code grants the Minister of Labour the right to refer strikes to compulsory arbitration if they are liable to "jeopardize the normal operation of the national economy or involves a vital industrial sector". Furthermore, the categories of workers required to provide a minimum service during a strike include school principals.

Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2009

Background: In February, 700 Touareg rebels surrendered arms. However, insecurity in the north of the country was still a matter of concern with increasing criminality, terrorist acts and arms and drugs trafficking in the Sahel-Sahara strip. In August, further to threats from conservative groups, the President of the Republic returned the draft Family Code for a second reading after its adoption by the National Assembly. The new Code, which has been debated for over 10 years, foresees major reforms, notably in terms of women's and girls' rights.

Government promises much, does little: Despite the government's promises, the trade unions have complained of the lack of social dialogue or at the very least discrimination against them. Similarly, promises to deal with violations of the right to strike in 2009 or earlier amounted to nothing. Many workers who took part in protest action have still not won their case, be it in the private sector (see the articles about Morilla and Huicoma in the violations section) or the public sector. The National Health and Social Action Workers' Union (SNS-AS) called a 48-hour strike on 21 and 22 July further to the Health Minister's refusal to respond to their demands. The SNS-AS reported that it had been threatened by the authorities. The union's demands included the reinstatement of activists who had been transferred or dismissed for going on strike in the past. By the end of the year, there had been no significant progress for the SNS-AS.

One of the country's two national centres excluded from the principal tripartite body: The Workers' Trade Union Confederation of Mali (CSTM) has repeatedly deplored the authorities' blatant disregard for it. On 8 December, it organised a march to protest at its exclusion from the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (CESC) whose members were appointed on 30 November for a five-year term. It is the third time the CSTM has not been included in the principal national consultative body, despite rulings by the Supreme Court.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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