3 – Regular violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Congo, Democratic Republic of

The ITUC affiliates in the Democratic Republic of Congo are the Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT), the Confédération Syndicale du Congo (CSC) and the Union Nationale des Travailleurs du Congo (UNTC).

In practice

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Transport: international pressure to include unions in negotiations 11-11-2015

Trade union representatives were excluded from the talks underway within the framework of the plans to privatise the Commercial Transport and Ports Company, SCTP. They were also threatened and intimidated for seeking to represent the workers’ rights threatened by this privatisation process. On 11 November, workers responded to the call for a work stoppage launch by the inter-union grouping Solidarité Syndicale des Travailleurs et Cadres du Congo (SCTP-SA). The International Transport Federation (ITF) has been following this case for some time. On 6 November, its general secretary, Steve Cotton, wrote to President Joseph Kabila, urging him to intervene and to convince the management to accept the principle of constructive dialogue with the trade unions. This was ultimately the route taken. After a few hours of strike 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
action, an agreement was concluded between the state and the SCTP-SA.

Postal union delegates dismissed19-06-2014

Twelve trade union delegates representing workers at the national post and telecommunications company, the Société Congolaise de Poste et Télécommunications, were dismissed without notice on 2 May 2014. Their dismissal provoked an outcry among other postal workers across Africa, who organised a campaign for their release led by the global union, UNI. All 12 were reinstated on 19 June.

Two union leaders arrested as police force meeting to disperse26-11-2014

The National Police violently disrupted a General Assembly organised by the public sector unions on 26 November 2014. The National Public Sector Unions (Intersyndicale Nationale du Secteur Public) and the Independent Public Administration Unions (Syndicats Indépendants de l’Administration Publique) had invited their members to take part in a General Assembly in Golgotha Square, outside the Civil Service Ministry, to discuss a number of issues, notably the government’s refusal to increase civil service pay, the illegal deduction of bank costs, and specific bonuses. The two organisations had notified the Civil Service Ministry, the Interior Ministry and the Governor of Kinshasa of their intention to hold the meeting by letter on 17 and 26 November.

Just as the meeting was about to begin, the National Police arrived and dispersed the participants using brute force, on the orders of the Civil Service Minister Jean Claude Kibala. They also arrested two trade union leaders: Jean Bosco Puna Nsasa, general secretary of the National Union of Catholic Teachers (SYNECAT) and Sylvain Kabuya Mwamba, a member of the Workers’ Union. Mr Nsasa was released the following day, while Mr Mwamba remained in detention.

The Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT)...18-05-2014

The Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT) argues that the National Labour Council does not consult unions on the meeting agenda and thereby limits their leverage to participate and influence socio-economic matters. Moreover, anti-union discrimination anti-union discrimination Any practice that disadvantages a worker or a group of workers on grounds of their past, current or prospective trade union membership, their legitimate trade union activities, or their use of trade union services. Can constitute dismissal, transfer, demotion, harassment and the like.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework

is a widespread problem, in particular in foreign owned companies. Management has intervened in union elections in order to get their preferred candidate elected. The company Khalico refuses requests by unions to open collective bargaining collective bargaining The process of negotiating mutually acceptable terms and conditions of employment as well as regulating industrial relations between one or more workers’ representatives, trade unions, or trade union centres on the one hand and an employer, a group of employers or one or more employers’ organisations on the other.

See collective bargaining agreement
negotiations. Instead, management negotiates individually with workers undermining the efforts of the union. The company Tenke Fungurume Mining has not shied away from replacing workers who went on strike 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
with contract workers in order to intimidate the workers and to break the strike 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
.

Refusal to bargain in good faith19-08-2013

The Union Nationale des Travailleurs du Congo has reported that while employers agree to bargain they put pressure on the unions to replace bargaining agents and threatened not to continue negotiations unless they did so.

Anti-union discrimination31-07-2012

In July 2012, five trade union delegates who had been dismissed from the Société Nationale d’Assurance were reinstated. Management had categorically refused to bargain with workers.

In March 2013, Jean Ngandu, regional Deputy Secretary of the Confédération Démocratique du Travail was dismissed for his trade union activities.

The Union Nationale des Travailleurs du Congo reported that public authorities fail to respond to anti-union discrimination anti-union discrimination Any practice that disadvantages a worker or a group of workers on grounds of their past, current or prospective trade union membership, their legitimate trade union activities, or their use of trade union services. Can constitute dismissal, transfer, demotion, harassment and the like.

See Guide to the ITUC international trade union rights framework

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Authorities encourage catastrophic proliferation of trade unions 31-12-2010

By encouraging the formation of hundreds of unions over a number of years, the authorities have considerably and purposely weakened the trade union movement. There are reported to be around 500 officially recognised trade unions in DR Congo, a situation that has been denounced by the most representative organisations and which they describe as probably the worst case of trade union proliferation in Africa. The authorities have persistently followed the principle of “divide and rule”, under the cover of promoting political pluralism. The creation of yellow and empty-shell unions has been encouraged by employers and the state. An ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
report published in 2010 confirmed these chaotic developments, deemed catastrophic for the trade union movement. It is a trend that has been driven by self interest, political ambition or misinformation about the real values and objectives of trade union pluralism. In most cases, the unions that have emerged are characterised by all-pervading corruption, and their existence has contributed the widespread violation of workers’ rights.

Unions virtually excluded in the private sector30-11-2009

The absence of bona fide trade unions is the rule in the private sector. Most trade unions have no active members and have usually been created by employers to dupe the workers and discourage any attempts at organising organising The process of forming or joining a trade union, or inducing other workers to form or join one. , notably in the mining of natural resources. Human rights associations have reported many cases of Labour Code violations in enterprises where the trade union movement is unable to develop, such as the China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) which, under the terms of a bilateral agreement between China and Congo, is building or restoring roads and railways. The African Association for the Defence of Human Rights (ASADHO) has highlighted the powerlessness and fear of the labour inspectors who dare not take action against these investors who are so clearly favoured by the authorities. The General Industrial Company (SGI) in Kasangulu has also been singled out for the deplorable working conditions there. On 29 September Golden Misabiko, the president of the Katanga branch of ASADHO, was given a one year suspended sentence for reporting abuses of power and negligence by the local authorities in the uranium mines.

Discrimination against local government workers30-11-2009

The staff of decentralised administrations (towns, regions and sectors) are not unionised and do not enjoy the right to bargain or establish a union. They are on the lowest rung of the state administration ladder and, in practice, constitute a sub-category of public servants.

Refusal to negotiate in the public sector30-11-2009

As an employer, the State has often refused to negotiate with the trade unions. The public sector workers’ union has complained of manoeuvres by the Civil Service Ministry to block reforms. The State has ignored resolutions by the Permanent Social Dialogue social dialogue Discussion and co-operation between the social partners on matters of common interest, such as economic and social policy. Involves participation by the state where tripartism is practice. Framework, a structure set up in 2008. Complaints and appeals by the union have been in vain. In September, for example, the Congo Labour Centre (CCT) lodged a complaint against the government with the ILO International Labour Organization A tripartite United Nations (UN) agency established in 1919 to promote working and living conditions. The main international body charged with developing and overseeing international labour standards.

See tripartism, ITUC Guide to international trade union rights
because following a serious case of interference by the director of Congo Customs dating back to 2005 (the dismissal of trade union activists and the appointment of a new staff delegate), the director concerned has never been called on to answer the charges.

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