Last Updated: Thursday, 23 November 2017, 12:01 GMT

2012 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - Tanzania

Publisher International Trade Union Confederation
Publication Date 6 June 2012
Cite as International Trade Union Confederation, 2012 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - Tanzania, 6 June 2012, available at: [accessed 23 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: 44,800,000
Capital: Dodoma

ILO Core Conventions Ratified:

29 (Forced Labour (1930))
87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise (1948))
98 (Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining (1949))
100 (Equal Remuneration for Work of Equal Value (1951))
105 (Abolition of Forced Labour (1957))
111 (Discrimination in Employment and Occupation (1958))
138 (Minimum Age for Employment (1973))
182 (Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (1999))

Reported Violations – 2012

Murders: none reported
Attempted Murders: none reported
Threats: none reported
Injuries: none reported
Arrests: none reported
Imprisonments: none reported
Dismissals: none reported

Documented violations – actual number of cases may be higher


Neither law nor practice are conducive to the respect of trade union rights, although the global union federations are making some progress with enforcement by means of agreements signed with major multinational employers.


The country boasts East Africa's second-biggest economy, although more than 50% of Tanzanians still live below the poverty line. Fierce repression of a rally to protest against government corruption in January left two people dead and nine injured.

Trade union rights in law

Despite some constitutional guarantees, many excessive restrictions apply. The government retains control over many trade union activities, and can even suspend a union if it considers that public security or public order are endangered. While the right to collective bargaining is recognised, all collective agreements must be submitted to the Industrial Court for approval and may be refused if they do not conform to the government's economic policy. Furthermore, workers in public services are not allowed to bargain collectively. Strike action is permitted as a measure of last resort, but all strikes are subject to a compulsory 30-day mediation period. The list of services where strikes are prohibited is extensive, and covers almost 50% of all services. Strikes in other sectors may be either temporarily or permanently banned after a complicated investigation process. Picketing is not allowed.

In the semi-autonomous region of Zanzibar, there are even greater restrictions. To register a union, at least 50 people are required, and the Registrar has considerable powers to restrict registration if s/he does not agree with the union provisions. Furthermore, all strikes are prohibited.

Link to additional detailed information regarding the legislation on the ITUC website here

In practice

Trade union rights often ignored: Workers tend to stage illegal wildcat strikes and walkouts because of the lengthy and cumbersome requirements for calling a legal strike. In the private sector, employers often deny their workers the right to organise and to engage in collective bargaining. Workers in the gold mines have reported widespread violations of their trade union rights, although the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) has signed a framework agreement with Anglo Gold Ashanti to improve the respect of workers' rights. The Building and Woodworkers International (BWI) has also signed a framework agreement with Royal BAM to promote and protect worker's rights.


No entry for this country for this year

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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