2 – Repeated violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index

Togo

The ITUC affiliates in Togo are the Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs du Togo (CNTT), the Confédération Syndicale des Travailleurs du Togo (CSTT) and the Union Nationale des Syndicats Indépendants du Togo (UNSIT).

In practice

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Export processing zones: workers’ fundamental rights violated, trade union demands ignored or punished and serious accidents 01-12-2015

In theory, the thousands of 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 are covered by a reasonable legal framework – the labour law fully applies in the zones and a collective agreement took effect in 2013. In practice, however, the zones are typified by the persistent and growing violations of fundamental workers’ rights and trade union rights. In 2013, 160 employers of Paper Bags, a subsidiary of the Indian group WACEM, were sacked for demanding better working conditions. They are the victims of the company’s contempt and the much-decried tâcheronnat system, a labour contracting and outsourcing outsourcing See contracting-out system open to all manner of abuses. Despite the mobilisation of national and international trade union organisations as well as Togolese human rights groups, the workers were still awaiting, at the beginning of 2016, for justice to be served. The workers’ demands and the repeated warnings issued by COSYNTRASOFT, the organisation grouping 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. unions, regarding health and safety issues, are generally ignored. On 30 January 2015, an employee of the Korean company NINA died at work due to a lack of care. She had informed a superior that she was not feeling well, but was ordered to return to her post. The working conditions at the factory had already been described as abysmal, and the women often have to work standing up for ten hours in a row. In June, for lack of safety measures, six workers from the cement plant of the WACEM Group died in a fuel tank explosion. Almost 900 employees of this Indian group are employed under the tâcheronnat contract labour system. The management does not provide them with equipment and ignores their demands. At the end of 2015, they finally managed to secure a social agreement.

Implementation of amended law on export processing zones overdue30-11-2011

The government amended the 1989 law governing export processing zones, with the stated aim of ensuring better respect for the labour legislation in this sector, but has not yet taken steps to bring the new law into force. In October, COSYNTRAZOFT, the Umbrella Organisation Grouping 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. Labour Unions, made an urgent appeal to the authorities to implement the law. Conditions in the 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. are characterised by countless workers’ rights violations: unfair dismissals, working hours exceeding the legal limit, non-compliance with statutory leave and social security obligations, and the obstruction of trade union activities.

Widespread abuses in export processing zone30-11-2011

Three trade unions were recently set up in the 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. (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. ). The obstacles to their formation and operation have, however, underlined the contradictions and vagueness of the regulations governing workers’ rights in the zone. The majority of the 9,000 workers (60% women) employed in the 60 or so firms in 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. continued to be deprived of their most basic rights. There is no general framework for consultation and the unions were not involved in the review of the legal texts governing the free trade zone. As a result, the exemptions regarding dismissal, 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
and dispute settlement remained in force, to the workers’ detriment.

Unions still waiting for real social dialogue31-12-2010

National trade union centres demanded a resumption of 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. several times during the year, as well as the full implementation of the protocol signed by the social partners social partners Unions and employers or their representative organisations. in 2006. Out of the 125 commitments made aimed at resolving serious shortcomings in terms of economic, social and cultural rights, barely 30 have been implemented. Only an emergency seems to galvanise the authorities into negotiating with the unions. In June a sharp rise in fuel prices led to strong social unrest. After announcing a general 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 five major trade union centres obtained a small fall in fuel prices during a crisis meeting of the National Council for 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. . The discontent continued however.

Unions created in export processing zone, but many abuses persist31-12-2010

Three trade unions were recently created in the country’s 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. . However the difficulties they encountered in their formation and in just being able to function underlined the contradictions and vagueness of the regulations governing workers rights in the zone. The majority of the 9000 workers (60 % women) employed in the 60 enterprises of the zone continued to be deprived of their most basic rights. There is no general framework for consultation and the unions were not involved in the review of the legal texts governing the free trade zone. Hence the exemptions regarding dismissal, 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
and dispute settlement remained, to the detriment of the workers.

Trade union created in export processing zone08-12-2009
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