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

2011 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Mali

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 8 June 2011
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2011 Annual Survey of violations of trade union rights - Mali, 8 June 2011, 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: 13,000,000
Capital: Bamako
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

The workers' trade union confederation of Mali CSTM (Confédération syndicale des travailleurs du Mali) continued to be excluded from several national tripartite structures. The cases concerning strikers unfairly sanctioned by their employers, some dating back several years, have still not been settled.


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.


Background: Fifty years after gaining independence, Mali remains one of the poorest countries in the world. Cotton, the country's second largest export earner, after gold, employs over 25% of the active population. The adoption of the family law, set to give greater rights to women and girls, was postponed until 2011 by parliament, which wants a more widely-accepted law.

No effective protection against anti-union discrimination: The absence of legal provisions against acts of anti-union discrimination continued to obstruct trade union activities. Employers were able to stop the setting up of trade union committees without even having to explain their motives. Trade union calls for the reinstatement of workers transferred or dismissed for taking part in a strike were ignored. Such was the case, for example, at the Morila Gold Mine and the mining company BCM-Mali.

Twenty trade union representatives still awaiting reinstatement: Mining company BCM-Mali has still not reinstated the 28 workers, including 20 trade union representatives, who were unfairly dismissed in March 2009 when changes were made to the contract with the temporary employment agency Universal Prestation Service (UPS/Mali), in spite of a final ruling in the workers' favour, pronounced on 30 December 2009. Repeated demands for their reinstatement by the national trade union confederation CSTM and the administrative authorities went completely unheeded during 2010.

CSTM excluded from Mali's main tripartite body: The CSTM (Confédération syndicale des travailleurs du Mali) continued to be excluded from tripartite social dialogue structures, such as the Economic, Social and Cultural Council (CESC), as well as social security structures, despite several Supreme Court rulings in the trade union confederation's favour.

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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