Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 December 2017, 12:58 GMT

2012 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights - Angola

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 - Angola, 6 June 2012, available at: [accessed 12 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: 19,080,000
Capital: Luanda

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))
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


Workers organisations remain under close government surveillance and there is still no collective bargaining in the public sector.


An anti-government demonstration had to be called off in March after a campaign of intimidation by the government. In December the government again stood accused of economic mismanagement when an International Monetary Fund report revealed that US$32 billion of government funds, thought to be from oil revenues, had been spent over the previous four years without being properly accounted for.

Trade union rights in law

Although the new Constitution adopted on 21 January 2010, guarantees fundamental trade union rights, they are excessively restricted. The procedures to set up a trade union are long and cumbersome and the law stipulates that grassroots organisations must include at least 30% of the workers in their activity sector. Collective bargaining is limited in the public service as the law stipulates that collective disputes can be resolved through obligatory arbitration by the Labour Ministry.

Although the right to strike is recognised, an excessively high quorum must be obtained when holding a strike ballot. The list of categories of workers excluded from the right to strike also exceeds the ILO's definition of "essential services". Furthermore the law stipulates that the Council of Ministers is entitled to suspend the right to strike when a "situation threatens the peace or is a public nuisance". The requisitioning of workers in the postal services, the fuel industry, public transport and the food industry is also permitted. Anti-trade union discrimination is forbidden but the law does not contain any effective measures to prevent employers from taking retaliatory action against the strikers.

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

In practice

Collective bargaining curtailed: Collective bargaining is restricted in its coverage. The government is the country's biggest employer and, through the Ministry of Public Administration, Employment and Social Security, sets wages and benefits on an annual basis. This involves consultation, but no negotiations with the unions.

Workers' rights not respected:

Workers' organisations are closely monitored by the authorities, particularly in the strategic oil and diamond industries. The authorities and employers have shown little tolerance for protest action. There are frequent and repeated warnings. Any social unrest is met with reminders about the need for the country's economic recovery, discipline at work and for dialogue as the only possible solution to workers' demands. Freedom of expression is quashed just as much as freedom of association, if not more so, hence union demands or grievances are rarely mentioned in the press. A report on industrial disputes in the Kwanza Norte province in April 2011 found that many were due to the failure of employers to apply the law and the fact that many workers did not know what rights they had in law.

Unions have not remained completely docile however. The National Union of Angolan Workers (UNTA-CS) called for more workers and more organising in the country's all-important oil industry during the year, and with the support of the ILO pressed for laws to protect domestic workers' rights further to the adoption of the new ILO Convention. UNTA-CS also publicly denounced the failure to respect health and safety standards, criticising the high number of accidents in the construction industry. The General Centre for Independent Trade Unions of Angola (CGSILA) meanwhile called for a minimum wage worth USD300, while the head of the education, culture and sports union pressed for higher salaries in his sector.


No entry for this country for this year

Copyright notice: © ITUC-CSI-IGB 2010

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