Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2017, 13:52 GMT

2008 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Central African Republic

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 20 November 2008
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2008 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Central African Republic, 20 November 2008, available at: [accessed 14 December 2017]
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: 4,300,000
Capital: Bangui
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

Collective bargaining is non-existent in the public sector. Throughout the year, negotiations between the government and the unions failed to resolve the issue of wage arrears.

Trade union rights in law

Limits on freedom of association: Freedom of association is guaranteed by the Constitution. The Labour Code allows almost all workers to join trade unions, without prior authorisation. However, state employees in high-level posts are not allowed to join a union. A person who has lost the status of worker, either because s/he is unemployed or has retired, cannot in principle belong to a trade union or take part in its leadership or administration. Trade union officers must belong to the occupation their union represents.

Complicated strike procedures: The right to strike is recognised in both the public and private sectors, but is curtailed by complicated procedures. In the event of a dispute, there has to be conciliation between labour and management. If conciliation does not work, an arbitration council must rule that the union and the employer failed to agree on valid demands, and only then may a strike be called. If a union calls a strike, only its members can join in the action. The government reserves the right to requisition workers if it is in the "general interest". The Labour Code does not include sanctions against employers for acting against strikers.

Collective bargaining and union protection: The Labour Code does not specifically recognise the right to bargain collectively, but does protect workers from employer interference in the administration of a union.

Trade union rights in practice and Violations in 2007

Background: Since mid-2005, the north of the country has been subjected to violence. The abuses of the government forces and rebel groups led to hundreds of civilian deaths. The President agreed to organise an "inclusive political dialogue" involving all political parties of all tendencies and the rebel groups. The government has still not solved the problem of back pay, leading to numerous strikes in the civil service.

Collective bargaining minimal: In the civil service, the government sets wages after consultation, but no negotiation with the unions. Repeated meetings between the government and the unions failed to come up with a solution to the problem of wage arrears, reflecting the low level of respect for collective bargaining procedures. The six trade union confederations denounced the authorities' "total indifference" towards social problems. In the private sector, collective bargaining has, however, played a role in setting wages.

Anti-union discrimination: There were reports of discrimination against union members.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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