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2007 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Guinea Bissau

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 9 June 2007
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2007 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Guinea Bissau, 9 June 2007, available at: [accessed 25 November 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: 1,600,000
Capital: Bissau
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111

The absence of collective bargaining rights continued to be a problem, particularly in the public sector. Union leaders were suspended for organising a legal strike in February at the water and electricity company.

Trade union rights in law

Freedom to form and join independent trade unions: All workers are free to form and join independent trade unions. The government registers all unions. All unions are able to affiliate freely with national confederations and international trade union organisations. The vast majority of the population is engaged in subsistence agriculture, and only a small percentage of workers are in formal employment and organised. Most unionised workers are government or parastatal employees.

No collective bargaining rights: The Constitution does not provide for, or protect, the right to bargain collectively. Instead, this is done by the tripartite National Council for Social Consultation that carries out consultations on wages and employment legislation. Most wages are established in bilateral negotiations between workers and employers.

Right to strike: Workers have the right to strike and are legally protected from retribution for strike activities. Prior notice of any strike must be given.

Trade union rights in practice

Union harassed for calling for strike action: Despite the protection provided in law, the government has consistently harassed the leadership of the União Nacional Dos Trabalhadores Da Guiné (UNTG) for calling legitimate strikes.

No negotiations over salaries: One of the greatest sources of union dissatisfaction has been the continual breakdown of talks over the non-payment of wages, due to failure of the National Council for Social Consultation to negotiate satisfactorily.

Violations in 2006

Background: In February 2006 teachers went on strike over unpaid wages and in December 2006 the General Secretary of the União Nacional Dos Trabalhadores Da Guiné (UNTG, National Workers' Union) called a 72-hour general strike to protest about unpaid wages.

Harassment of union members at water and electricity company: In February 2006 management of the parastatal utility Electricidade e Águas de Guiné-Bissau (EAGB) suspended the leadership of the union at EAGB after workers there held a two-day legal strike.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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