The ITUC affiliates in Chad are the Confédération Libre des Travailleurs du Tchad (CLTT) and the Union des Syndicats du Tchad (UST).
Freedom of association / Right to organise
The law prohibits anti-union discrimination.
Restrictions on trade unions' right to organise their administration:
- Restrictions on the right to freely organise activities and formulate programmes
- The Labour Code stipulates that unions must present their financial accounts and the corresponding receipts without delay at the request of a labour inspector. According to the ILO, this provision could be used as the basis for acts of government interference in trade union activities.
Categories of workers prohibited or limited from forming or joining a union, or from holding a union office:
- Armed forces
Right to strike
Barriers to lawful strike actions:
- Other excessively complex or time-consuming formalities to call a strike
- The law of 9 May 2007 regulating the right to strike in public services established a Conciliation Council whose composition is determined by the government and to which all collective disputes must be submitted. This mandatory procedure considerably lengthens the period before a strike can start.
- Other undue, unreasonable or unjustified prerequisites
- The law of 9 May 2007 regulating the right to strike in public services also requires the "possible" duration of a strike to be declared, even though, according to the ILO, unions should have the right to call unlimited strike action.
Limitations or ban on strikes in certain sectors:
- Discretionary determination or excessively long list of "services of public utility" in which a minimum operational service is can be imposed in the event of strikes
- The list of public services considered "essential" has been significantly extended. Workers in the broadcasting industry, the postal services, abattoirs and nine more categories of services may be "requisitioned" by the relevant ministerial authorities as well as by local authorities. It should be noted that strikes are permitted in these sectors providing that a minimum service is ensured, but it is up to the public authorities to determine, at their own discretion, the minimum services to be provided and the number of employees required to ensure them.
Workers employed with Chinese companies operating oil fields in Bongor and Moundou went on a strike
The most common form of industrial action, a strike is a concerted stoppage of work by employees for a limited period of time. Can assume a wide variety of forms.
See general strike, intermittent strike, rotating strike, sit-down strike, sympathy strike, wildcat strike to protest against management’s refusal to recognise unions. On 18 January 2014, violent clashes took place on the site Koudalwa in the area near Bongor. Workers have been struggling since April 2013 to conduct union elections and are demanding better working conditions and the resignation of the management that is not permitting them to unionise. In August 2013, the government ordered the suspension of the activities of the companies for flagrant environmental violations.
Eric Topona, general secretary of the Union des Journalistes Tchadiens (UJT), was imprisoned on 6 May 2013 and charged with undermining the constitutional order. Moussaye Avenir de la Tchiré, editor-in-chief of the Abba Garde newspaper and treasurer of the UJT, was arrested for “inciting hatred and civil unrest”.
The government unilaterally terminated a national minimum wage agreement for the public sector on 28 November 2012. The Government and the UST had signed a Memorandum of Understanding and an agreement on 11 November 2011.
The Union des Syndicats du Tchad (UST) wrote a petition criticising President Idriss Déby for corruption and impoverishing the population. François Djondang, Michel Barka and Younous Mahadjir were charged with defamation. Jean-Claude Nékim was also charged with defamation when he wrote about this incident in the N’Djaména BiHebdo newspaper. On 18 September 2012, the court of first instance condemned François Djondang, Michel Barka and Younous Mahadjir to 18 months imprisonment and a fine of 1.5 million CFA francs (2,290 EUR) for having committed a hate crime. While they plan to appeal this decision, the independence of the court has been put into question as its members were changed by a decree on 17 September 2012.
The two main trade union centres, forming a common front, denounced the government’s total disregard for the demands presented by workers. Among them is the demand for a public sector pay review, which the government had pledged in 2007 to conduct as soon as the financial situation allowed for it. The state’s resources have, in the meantime, tripled, if not quadrupled. On 11 November, after three strikes, the head of state finally agreed to meet with trade union leaders and satisfy some of their demands.