Population: 14,500,000
Capital: Luanda
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182

There is still little protection in law of the right to strike, and the unions have complained of overly bureaucratic procedures for legal recognition. In practice, the situation in the country still makes it difficult for the unions to enforce their rights.

Trade union rights in law

Government approval required: The Constitution provides for the right to form and join trade unions, although government approval is required and the procedures are cumbersome. Women and men engaged in domestic work or casual labour are excluded from the General Labour Act. Unions have the right to affiliate internationally.

Strike restrictions: The right to strike is recognised, but strictly regulated. The law does not contain any effective measures to prohibit employer retribution against strikers, and the government can force them back to work under various pretexts. The law prohibits strikes by the armed forces, police, prison workers and fire fighters. The Strike Act was being revised (as of February 2006) and trade unions called for genuine tripartite consultation to ensure it complies fully with international labour standards.

Collective bargaining is recognised in law, and discrimination against union members is prohibited, but these rights are not consistently enforced.

Trade union rights in practice

Rights not respected: In practice, the emerging process of democratisation and restrictions on civil liberties, still in place after the civil war, make it difficult for unions to enforce their rights or to carry out any activities not approved by the government. Permission for trade union protest demonstrations is usually refused.

Collective bargaining curtailed: Collective bargaining is restricted in practice. 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.

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