4 – Systematic violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Madagascar

The ITUC affiliates in Madagascar are the Firaisan’ny Sendikan’ny Mpiasan’ny Madagasikara (FI.SE.MA.), the Fivondronamben’ny Mpiasa Malagasy Confédération des Travailleurs Malgaches (FMM), the Sendika Krisitianina Malgasy - Conf. Chrétienne des Syndicats Malgaches (SEKRIMA) and the Union des Syndicats Autonomes du Madagascar (USAM).

In practice

Browse by:

Persistent anti-unionism in mining sector31-05-2016

Multinationals Sherritt and Rio Tinto persisted with their attacks on trade union rights in 2016. The unions nonetheless remained steadfast, as demonstrated by IndustriAll affiliate SVS (Syndicalisme et Vie des Sociétés), which won a legal victory over mining giant Sherritt. After a long court battle, the State Council (Supreme Court) ruled in favour of one of the union’s leaders, Barson Rakotomanga, who was also a member of the works council works council 1. A body elected to represent the interests of workers within a workplace through communication and consultation with the employer e.g. concerning working conditions and health and safety issues. 2. A joint council composed of representatives of both workers and the employer for workplace-level discussions on matters of common interest. at the Ambatovy nickel mine. The trade unionist had been dismissed in June 2015, along with 900 other workers, on grounds that he had tarnished the mining group’s reputation both in the country and abroad. By ruling in his favour, the State Council has given hope to fifteen other elected trade unionists who have also been dismissed. In May 2016, two miners who denounced their intolerable working conditions at the Rio Tinto QMM mining site in Fort-Dauphin were threatened with dismissal.

Dismissal of two trade union leaders at Rio Tinto subsidiary05-11-2015

On 5 November, after a three week 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
, over 100 Rio Tinto security guards won the dispute with their employer Pro’Tech Security. The workers were calling for the reinstatement of two of their representatives, also leaders of the Confédération Générale des Syndicats des Travailleurs de Madagascar (FISEMA). Eugène Chrétien, general secretary of the FISEMA, underlined the power of solidarity. He also paid tribute to the management at Pro’Tech Security for correcting its attitude to dialogue and negotiations. IndustriALL, which supported its affiliate, underlined the urgency of campaigning at global level against Rio Tinto’s excessive use of subcontractors and the ill-treatment suffered as a result.

Right to strike hampered at national water and electricity company30-11-2015

On 18 September, in the capital, the authorities arrested and imprisoned Oliva Andrianalimanana, president of the Union des Syndicats Autonomes de Madagascar (USAM), affiliated to the ITUC and president of the Intersyndicale del la Compagnie Nationale d’Eau et d’Electricité (JIRAMA). A portion of the 5,800 employers at JIRAMA had been 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
since 10 August. They received support from ITUC-Africa and IndustriALL Global Union.
The trade union leader was accused of forgery and the use of forgeries in an old and rather tenuous case with no relation to the labour dispute labour dispute See industrial dispute . For the strikers, the unions and many observers, the digging up of an old file was above all a way for the authorities to muzzle the trade union leader 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
. The management at JIRAMA forbid demonstrations on the company’s sites, on the pretext that a handmade explosive device had been found a few weeks earlier at its headquarters in Ambohijatovo Avaratra. On 23 September, the Intersyndicale, substantially weakened, was forced to bring 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
to an end. On 11 November, Oliva Andrianalimanana and another striker accused as part of the same case were given a 14 month suspended sentence. They were also dismissed.

Canadian giant Sherrit’s contempt for its workers and their representatives03-06-2015

On 3 June, the mining group Sherrit International, which employs 3,000 direct workers and 6,000 others via subcontractors, suspended 900 workers from its Ambatovy extraction site (nickel and cobalt) for six months. Fifteen trade union representatives were among them, despite the protection conferred on them by the posts. The decision was taken suddenly and without consulting the works council works council 1. A body elected to represent the interests of workers within a workplace through communication and consultation with the employer e.g. concerning working conditions and health and safety issues. 2. A joint council composed of representatives of both workers and the employer for workplace-level discussions on matters of common interest. . Many of the workers laid off without pay heard the news on 5 June, in the morning when they turned away at the entrance of the mine. Distressed, one of the workers committed suicide.Aside from the fall in the price of nickel, the management also referred to the two-week 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
that had been staged earlier that year and had supposedly led to a fall in profits. Assisted by the Global Union IndustriALL, the trade unions soon showed these pretexts to be false. The financial results for 2014 and the first quarter of 2015 had been deemed excellent. Just months earlier, moreover, Sherry had made a donation of a million dollars to the Defence Ministry, a gesture considered unethical by IndustriALL. The unions affiliated to IndustriALL (FESATI, FSTEM, SVS and SEKRIMA) saw the mass layoff as a way for Sherrit to crush the nions, with the complicity of the government, given that the mining group subsequently refused to furnish proof that the layoffs were financial justified. The employer was suspected of having infiltrated the unions, provoking international disputes, divisions and a climate of suspicion, weakening the unions. This strategy also led to tensions, fear and resentment among the workers and the local population. In December, IndustriALL condemned the mining group’s “total arrrogance”, following its refusal to mediate with the trade union leaders on the invitation of the authorities and the suspension of the works council works council 1. A body elected to represent the interests of workers within a workplace through communication and consultation with the employer e.g. concerning working conditions and health and safety issues. 2. A joint council composed of representatives of both workers and the employer for workplace-level discussions on matters of common interest. . Sherry, it should be noted, has continued to hire expatriate employees, migrant and local contract workers. At the end of the year, the group announced that only 10% of the workers laid off could resume work. .

Criminalisation of trade union action, arrest and dismissal of four activists31-05-2015

Labour grievances at Air Madagascar over the company’s poor management, wage discrimination (nationals/foreigners) and the surplus of non-agreed leave came to a head at the beginning of June when the employer initiated disciplinary proceedings against trade union activists guilty of having publicly expressed their grievances. The trade unions, gathered within an inter-union grouping, launched a 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
on 15 June, in compliance with the labour law. Rather than listening to the workers’ grievances, the management reacted by declaring 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
illicit and demanding the requisitioning of the staff, which only served to reinforce 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
action. On 27 June, seven strikers were called in by the economic police following at complaint at the Ministry of Tourism for “economic sabotage, destabilisation of the state and criminal association”. Briefly held in detention whilst the police searched his home, Rado Rabarilala, the trade unionist leading 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
action, then learnt that he had been dismissed, along with three other workers’ representatives. A breakthrough was finally made following the director’s resignation and government’s appointment of a new board of directors. On 17 July, 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
was called off following a pledge to reinstate the four trade union activists. At the end of 2015, however, they had not yet been reinstated.

Genuine trade excluded from social dialogue in education sector 30-04-2015

At the beginning of April, the Fédération Chrétienne des Enseignants et Employés de l’Education (FEKRIMPAMA) denounced an agreement concluded between the Ministry of Education and the 15 trade unions in this sector providing for monthly meetings. The text of the agreement, which is not legally binding, contains ambiguous wording, casting doubt over the objectives pursued: “The trade unions and associations signing the present agreement commit to respect the administrative hierarchy.” The FEKRIMPAMA, the only trade union organisation in Madagascar affiliated to Education International, was not invited to take part. It has condemned the excessive politicisation of the education sector and the attempt to muzzle trade unions through this agreement. Trade union rights are often flouted on the ground: actions such as distributing leaflets at the school gate or putting up a poster can put activists at risk, not to mention calling a 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
or demonstration.

Export processing zones31-12-2013

In a tripartite meeting organized by 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
in December 2013 in Antananarivo, the employer spokesperson from the Entreprises Franches et Similaires stated that the employers would not sign a collective agreement covering the export processing zones.

Anti-union discrimination11-01-2014

A trade union member employed at the company DM International was dismissed without any justification from his/her position. S/he filed a complaint with the Regional Service for Employment and Social Affairs and was reinstated as a result. However, in November 2013, s/he was arrested and detained on allegations of theft. Management alleged that s/he stole iron from the company and threatened that they would ask for detention pending trial, if s/he did not resign from his/her position.
The company La Hutte Canadienne engaged in 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

. One of the workers who joined a union in August 2013 was continuously harassed and her position was changed multiple times until she was dismissed in November 2013 under the pretext that she was not competent enough for the position.
Union representative Sylvie Rakotoarivelo who is working for the company Initiatives was reprimanded on 11 January 2014 for participating in a trade union activity on 23 December 2013. Management first gave her time-off to allow her participation in the activity but then withdrew the permission. She was accused of not carrying out her assignments and was threatened with dismissal.
After the Arbitration arbitration A means of resolving disputes outside the courts through the involvement of a neutral third party, which can either be a single arbitrator or an arbitration board. In non-binding arbitration, the disputing parties are free to reject the third party’s recommendation, whilst in binding arbitration they are bound by its decision. Compulsory arbitration denotes the process where arbitration is not voluntarily entered into by the parties, but is prescribed by law or decided by the authorities.

See conciliation, mediation
Council rendered an award in March 2013 in favour of the workers, union representative Avohaja Radanielina sent an email to union members explaining the details of the award. The BFV Bank/SG issued a disciplinary warning against him for using the company facilities for union purposes even though the award ordered that no trade unionists should be subjected to discrimination as a result of this dispute. The union went back to the Arbitration arbitration A means of resolving disputes outside the courts through the involvement of a neutral third party, which can either be a single arbitrator or an arbitration board. In non-binding arbitration, the disputing parties are free to reject the third party’s recommendation, whilst in binding arbitration they are bound by its decision. Compulsory arbitration denotes the process where arbitration is not voluntarily entered into by the parties, but is prescribed by law or decided by the authorities.

See conciliation, mediation
Council which asked the company to withdraw the warning.

Rights trampled in export processing zones30-11-2011

Trade unions attending a seminar on the EPZ export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. sector organised by the ITUC exposed the persistent and serious abuses endured by export processing zone export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. workers: excessively high production targets unilaterally set by employers, violations of the legislation on overtime, non-payment of social security contributions and disregard for health and safety issues. Workers complained about precarious contracts signed under pressure and unfair dismissals. Fetra Lovasoa, the general secretary of the EPZ export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. workers’ federation, Fédération des syndicats des travailleurs des entreprises franches, denounced that the working conditions were akin to modern slavery. Trade unions are active in around sixty EPZ export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. companies, mostly in the textile sector. Membership levels remain low, at between 10% and 14% of the labour force (mainly women), amounting to a total of around 5,000 workers. In July, the government announced plans to create 100,000 new EPZ export processing zone A special industrial area in a country where imported materials are processed before being re-exported. Designed to attract mostly foreign investors by offering incentives such as exemptions from certain trade barriers, taxes, business regulations, and/or labour laws. jobs within five years.

Trade union rights often flouted31-12-2010

The predominance of subsistence agriculture and the informal sector as well as the employers’ contempt for trade union activities help to ensure that labour legislation only applies to a small minority of workers. Over recent years, trade unions have complained of the opacity of the agreements concluded between the authorities and the mining companies and the growth in the illegal export of rosewood. According to a recent report by the Conférence des travailleurs de Madagascar (CTM) and the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), most of the collective agreements have been signed in public companies. With privatisation, however, many have become obsolete (rail, telecommunications, energy, etc.).

© ITUC-CSI-IGB 2013 | www.ituc-csi.org | Contact Design by Pixeleyes.be - maps: jVectorMap