ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182
The recent reform of the Labour Code, which finally allows public sector workers to join unions, still needs to be acted on. In the private sector, the right to collective bargaining continues to be widely flouted.
Trade union rights in law
New Labour Code: The Labour Code, which came into force in 2007, recognises the right of public servants and state officials in the public administration to organise. It covers the central institutions of the public administration, local state bodies and authorities, public institutions and other subordinate or dependent institutions. However it excludes firefighters, members of the judicial authorities and prison guards from the right to establish and join organisations.
Non-compliance with international labour standards: The ILO's Committee of Experts on the Application of Conventions and Recommendations (CEACR) has observed that the draft Code in its Section 189 provided for compulsory arbitration in case of "essential services", the list of which includes postal services, the petroleum sector, meteorological services, and loading and unloading of cattle and perishable goods, which the ILO does not regard as essential. The provisions in the code concerning the right to strike also need to be amended and brought in line with ILO standards, removing the time limit on strikes and ensuring that responsibility for declaring a strike illegal lies with an independent authority.
Furthermore, the CEACR has noted that although the draft Code prohibits acts of anti-union discrimination and acts of interference, it did not provide sufficiently dissuasive sanctions. The CEACR also requested that the draft law allow public servants who are not engaged in the administration of the State to bargain collectively.
Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2008
Background: Despite the strong economic growth in recent years, coupled with macro-economic and political stability, all of which have been welcomed by the IFIs, the country remains one of the poorest in the world. Income disparities increased amongst a population that was again hit by natural disasters (flooding of the Zambezi in January 2008), irregular harvests, malaria and HIV-AIDS.
Employers block union activity: The Organizaçao dos trabalhadores moçambicanos – Central sindical (OTM-CS) has, in recent years, reported frequent trade union rights' violations by employers who try to stop the unions from protecting their workers, and do not comply with collective agreements or with state legislation to protect them from being sacked. Union officials are threatened with dismissal, and union members have been dismissed under false pretences. Employers also carry out misinformation campaigns about unions and prevent organisers from entering premises to carry out recruitment campaigns. The OTM-CS has also reported cases where receiving a job depended on the person not being a member of a union, particularly for the youngest applicants.
Laws preventing public meetings without written permission hinder trade unions' ability to operate freely.
Unionists discriminated against in export processing zones: Unionists face discrimination and unfair dismissal, and workers have been dismissed for going on strike. Collective agreements are not respected, nor is the principle of equal pay for equal work.
Collective bargaining rights flouted: A recent report by the Ministry of Labour on inspections showed that of the 522 companies visited just 16 had signed a collective agreement with their employees.
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