ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 – 87 – 98 – 100 – 105 – 111 – 138 – 182
Trade unions are rarely accepted at the workplace. Activists are harassed and collective agreements constantly violated. Public servants still do not have the right to organise, and the right to strike is restricted.
Trade union rights in law
Free trade union activity is hindered by a number of restrictions. Public servants do not have the right to form and join unions. However, a general law on public servants has been drafted to allow these workers to exercise freedom of association though the draft still excludes some categories of workers, and provides for cumbersome dispute resolution procedures.
Furthermore, the draft law provides for fines for strike pickets that disrupt the normal operation of services. Arbitration is compulsory in essential services, the list of which is very broad and includes activities in the country's export processing zone (EPZ) in Mozal. Finally, the Labour Act allows a strike to be ended by a decision of the mediation and arbitration body, and makes any violation of the articles on the right to work of non-strikers and on minimum services a disciplinary offence, making the striking workers liable to civil and penal sanctions.
Trade union rights in practice and violations in 2009
Background: President Guebuza was re-elected in October. Poverty and unemployment rose further in 2009 despite the high rate of economic growth of the last few years. The informal sector where thousands of workers dismissed in the wake of privatisation or bankruptcy found refuge employs 90% of the working population. According to the United Nations, nearly one in two Mozambicans suffer from malnutrition. The country is developing some very ambitious biofuels projects, despite limited water resources.
Employers – good intentions collectively, ignoring rights individually: Although the Mozambican Workers' Organisation (OTM-CS) considers relations with the social partners are good at the national level, it has asked to be involved more closely in Civil Service pay reforms, recalling the lack of transparency that has prevailed hitherto. At the enterprise level, performance is not so good: the trade unions have not been able to develop. Employers have continued to show their hostility towards workers' representatives: anti-union discrimination remains a problem as the 2007 Labour Code does not contain sufficiently dissuasive sanctions , while the legal constraints on private gatherings and workers' meetings at the work place are very strict. Collective agreements are rare and constantly violated, which has led to several industrial disputes. At G4S and several of its subsidiaries the Private Security Workers' Union has carried out several strikes following blatant violations of the collective agreement, despite the involvement of the labour inspector.
Discrimination in the export processing zones: The Mozambique Workers' Organisation (OTM-CS) has complained of discrimination against trade unionists in the export processing zones (EPZ): dismissals of activists and members, violations of collective agreements where they exist,etc. Furthermore the right to strike is very difficult to exercise in practice as the zones are covered by the law on essential services.
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