Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2018, 12:53 GMT

2008 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Mali

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 - Mali, 20 November 2008, available at: [accessed 23 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: 13,800,000
Capital: Bamako
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

The workers who were unfairly dismissed in 2005 and 2006 for striking and union activism have still not been reinstated. In June, the government requisitioned airport services during a general strike.

Trade union rights in law

The Constitution guarantees freedom of association. 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 and migrant workers. The military and some high-level civil servants are excluded, which, if narrowly applied, is not against the principles of freedom of association. However the exclusion also applies to top managers at the Banque Centrale des Etats de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (BCEAO), which is not compatible with those principles.

"Conformity Act" required: A newly formed union has to deposit its texts with the prosecutor at the Tribunal de Première Instance of the commune, who will then examine their conformity with national legislation.

Right to strike: All workers, including civil servants, have the right to strike, and all types of strikes are allowed. Those required to provide a minimum service during a strike include school principals, who fall outside the ILO definition of essential services.

Collective bargaining: Both the private and the public sector have the right to collective bargaining. A collective agreement under limited duration is valid for a maximum of five years. However, once this term expires, and without contradictory stipulations, the agreement is then considered of unlimited duration.

Trade union rights in practice and Violations in 2007

Background: The outgoing president, Amadou Toumani Touré, won the presidential elections in April and the Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP) won a large victory in the general elections in July. Despite being the third largest African producer of gold, the gold boom did not free Mali from poverty and the country was still in 175th position (out of 177) on the Human Development Index.

The Confédération syndicale des travailleurs du Mali (CSTM) reports that it is continuing to be discriminated against by the Malian authorities. It is excluded from the civil service board (Conseil Superieur de la Fonction Publique), from the board of administrators of the Agence Nationale pour l'Emploi (ANPE) and the Institut Nationale de Prévoyance Sociale (INPS), and from the Socio-Economic and Cultural Board, in violation of decisions of the Supreme Court of Mali.

Government obstructing collective bargaining at federal level: Although collective bargaining is legally guaranteed, in practice, the government refuses to open negotiations on a federal collective agreement on trade which exists since 1956, as well as on the collective agreements on building and public works, on general mechanics, and on the Catholic education sector (whose current collective agreement dates back to 1969).

No progress in the "Morila" and "Malitel" cases: The 218 former employees of Somadex (the company working the Morila goldmines and a subsidiary of the French group Bouygues-BTP) who were unfairly dismissed in 2005 have still not received any compensation. A ruling on their case was not expected before 2008. The miners had been sacked after a strike in July 2005, partly in pursuit of their demand for a productivity bonus. During the strike, 32 workers had been arrested for irregular reasons; 23 had been provisionally released after more than five weeks, whilst the other nine were not released until 26 November 2006. And the two executives of Malitel, a telecoms firm, who had been sacked in 2006 for refusing to leave the CSTM, had not received any compensation either by the end of the year. p>

Requisitioning of airport services: During the general strike called by the Union nationale des travailleurs du Mali (UNTM) on 26 and 27 June, the government ordered the requisitioning of airport services, in breach of the ILO standards on essential services. An UNTM leader also reported that union representatives had been intimidated by their employers.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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