Trade unions in Benin

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Trade unions in Benin
National trade union organization(s)
CSA, CGTB, UNSTB
National government agency(ies)
Ministry of Labour
Primary trade union legislation
Benin Labour Code

International Labour Organization

Benin is a member of the ILO

Convention ratification
Freedom of Association 12 December 1960
Right to Organise 16 May 1968

Trade unions in Benin operate in relative freedom, with approximately 75% of the formal sector being unionized.[1] There are, however, concerns expressed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) about the discrepancies between the government's Labour Code and the labour practices outlined by ILO Conventions 87 (Freedom of Association) and 98 (Right to Organize) - specifically the right of unions to form without government approval, the right of seafarers to organize or strike, and restrictions on strikes.[2][3]

History[edit]

During the Communist era from 1972 to 1990, the trade union movement was organized in line with the professed Marxist-Leninist principles of the People's Revolutionary Party of Benin (PRPB). However, with the shift to a multi-party democracy in the 1990s, the trade union movement split into various entities.

National bodies[edit]

There are three main national trade union centers in Benin. The National Union of the Unions of the Workers of Benin (UNSTB) was the sole trade union organization during the rule of the PRPB, having absorbed all former trade unions in 1974.[4] The Autonomous Trade Unions Centre (CSA) formed with the rise of the multi-party system, and amid fears that the UNSTB would be unable to separate itself from the previous political powers. The third trade union center is the General Confederation of the Workers of Benin.

Trade union concerns[edit]

Although Benin has ratified a number of the ILO "core conventions", there are notable deficiencies in the application of labour practices as espoused by the labour movement. In particular a 2004 report by ITCU (previously ICFTU) draws attention to the lack of women's equality in the workforce, the use of child labour, and the ongoing problem of forced labour.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ ICTUR et al.,, ed. (2005). Trade Unions of the World (6th ed.). London, UK: John Harper Publishing. ISBN 0-9543811-5-7. 
  2. ^ "TRADE UNION RIGHTS IN LAW". Benin: Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Union Rights (2006) ITUC. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  3. ^ "INTERNATIONALLY-RECOGNIZED CORE LABOUR STANDARDS IN BENIN". ICFTU REPORT FOR THE WTO GENERAL COUNCIL REVIEW OF THE TRADE POLICIES OF BENIN. Retrieved 2007-07-30. 
  4. ^ ICTUR et al.,, ed. (2005). Trade Unions of the World (6th ed.). London, UK: John Harper Publishing. ISBN 0-9543811-5-7. 
  5. ^ "Serious violations of core labour standards in Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali". ICFTU Online. Retrieved 2007-07-30.