3 – Regular violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index


The ITUC affiliate in Mozambique is the Organizaçâo dos Trabalhadores de Moçambique (OTM).

Mozambique ratified Convention No. 87 on Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organise (1948) in 1996 and Convention No. 98 on the Right to Organise and Collective Bargaining (1949) in 1996.

In practice

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President of Associação Médica de Moçambique arrested26-05-2013

Health workers went on strike for ten days in May 2013 and halted operations in health institutions demanding wage increases, standardisation and the readjustment of emergency room prices. On 26 May 2013, President of the Associação Médica de Moçambique, Dr. Jorge Arroz, was arrested by police and accused of sedition for having instigated strike action. He was released a few hours later.

Anti-union discrimination24-04-2013

On 24 April 2012, the Organizaçâo dos Trabalhadores de Moçambique (OTM) stated that at least 30 trade union members had been sacked from their companies during the previous year because they had defended their legitimate workers’ rights. They were all members and leaders of the Maputo branches of the Food and Hotel Workers’ Union, or the Commercial Workers’ Union.

Contract and agency workers kept ignorant of their trade union rights31-12-2011

The number of contract and agency workers in Mozambique has increased since changes to the labour law in 2007, making it easier to hire workers on short term contracts. When the Mozambique Chemical and Allied Workers Union visited a factory in Maputo in September 2010, it found that nearly half the 1,700 staff were contract workers, while at another factory all employment came through labour agencies.

Although all workers have the same rights in law, companies like to keep contract and agency labour (CAL) workers ignorant about their rights, and union representatives are sent away. Because the workers do not know their rights they are more open to exploitation. As a result CAL workers do not recieve salary increases, employers neglect to make social security payments and health and safety protection is ignored.

In one case an agency worker in a chemical factory had an accident when the sack he was carrying broke and chemicals burnt his skin. Both the company and the agency refused to pay for his treatment, each denying responsibility. The worker eventually died from his injuries. The unions are working on supporting and organising CAL workers with the support of an ICEM project.

Discrimination in the EPZs31-12-2011

The Mozambique Workers’ Organisation (OTM-CS) has complained about discrimination against trade unionists in the export processing zones (EPZ), where dismissals of activists and members or violations of collective agreements – where they exist – occur. Furthermore, the right to strike is very difficult to exercise in practice, as the zones are covered by the law on essential services.

Employers – good intentions collectively, ignoring rights individually31-12-2011

Although the Mozambican Workers’ Organisation (OTM-CS) considers relations with the social partners are good at the national level, it has asked to be involved more closely in Civil Service pay reforms, recalling the lack of transparency that has prevailed. At the enterprise level, performance is not so good as trade unions have not been able to develop. Employers have continued to show their hostility towards workers’ representatives and anti-union discrimination remains a problem as the 2007 Labour Code does not contain sufficiently dissuasive sanctions, while the legal constraints on private gatherings and workers’ meetings at the workplace are very strict. Collective agreements are rare and constantly violated, which has led to several industrial disputes. The government has consistently failed to respond to ILO requests to report on any measures taken to promote free and voluntary collective bargaining.

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