4 – Systematic violations of rights
The ITUC Global Rights Index


The ITUC affiliates in Senegal are the Confédération des Syndicats Autonomes du Sénégal (CSA), the Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs du Sénégal (CNTS), the Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs du Sénégal - Forces du Changement (CNTS-FC), Union Démocratique des Travailleurs du Sénegal (UDTS) and Union Nationale des Syndicats Autonomes du Sénégal (UNSAS).

In practice

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Unfair dismissals and intimidation of trade unionists/attack on freedom of association22-11-2017

In November, three employees, founding members of a new trade union at the telecom operator Expresso Sénégal were dismissed. Fatou Camara, general secretary of the sectoral committee of the post and telecommunications union SNTPT Expresso-Sénégal, was penalised without justification on several occasions before being unfairly dismissed. According to the union leader, the new management, which took over in 2015, viewed the formation of the union as a declaration of war, and immediately began threatening and intimidating its members, warning them that all union members were its enemies Before firing Fatou Camara, the management at Expresso had dismissed the coordinator of the representatives in charge of demands and the deputy general secretary of the SNTPT/Expresso sectoral committee.

Union elections sabotaged in education sector05-09-2017

Several education unions including the UES (Union des Enseignants du Sénégal) and the SAES (Syndicat Autonome des Enseignants du Supérieur), denounced the manner in which union elections were organised in the education sector. According to the UES, a date was set unilaterally and without consulting those concerned. According to the SAES, 75% of the teachers were not on the electoral roll. The choice of voting stations also presented an obstacle for some teachers, who had to travel to cast their votes. Finally, the lack of ballot papers and envelopes was also criticised at some polling stations. The trade unions accused the Labour Ministry of seeking trade union partners to suit its needs through low trade union representation in the education sector.

Declarations of intent on social dialogue but many violations on the ground31-01-2016

During the first few months of the year, education trade unions strongly criticised the government for failing to respect an agreement signed in February 2014. The Grand Cadres des Syndicats d’Enseignants, grouping around thirty teachers’ trade unions, led 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
lasting several weeks, raising widespread fears that the academic year would be lost. 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. , deemed constructive by the two parties, was however resumed in April, bringing an end to the protest.

During the May Day celebrations, the five ITUC affiliates, also gathered within a coalition of trade union centres, welcomed the progress made in the national-level tripartite dialogue and the imminent signing of the National Social Stability and Economic Emergence Pact. In November, however, one of these centres, the Confédération Nationale des Travailleurs du Senegal (CNTS), expressed its regret that most employers had not taken the pact on board, underlining the “persistent crises in several sectors of activity and the state’s astonishing passivity”.

The sectors still in difficulty include the health sector, where the Syndicat Autonome des Médecins du Sénégal (SAMES) protested, in July, against the dismissal of two of its members, including the former general secretary of the SAMES, Dr Mbaye Paye, and the security sector, where, at the beginning of December, around 30 workers affiliated to the Syndicat Autonome des Gardiens et Agents de Sécurité (SAGAS) who were demonstrating in front of the headquarters of the Sociétés Générales de Banques du Sénégal (SGBS) were dispersed by security forces then dismissed and replaced by other workers. Finally, several trade union organisations from the transport sector and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) denounced the contempt shown by the management of Aviation Handling Services (AHS) towards its employees and particularly the workers’ representatives. The employer responded to a protest held in November by the Syndicat Unique des Travailleurs des Transports Aériens et des Activités Annexes du Senegal (SUTTAAAS) by transferring staff, confiscating airport access badges and dismissing several workers, including trade union representatives. At the end of January, the management was obliged to lift these punitive measures following state mediation mediation A process halfway between conciliation and arbitration, in mediation a neutral third party assists the disputing parties in reaching a settlement to an industrial dispute by suggesting possible, non-binding solutions.

See arbitration, conciliation
, an order to comply from the Labour Inspectorate and trade union mobilisation, which was supported by the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF).

CNTS report29-07-2013

The general manager of the cleaning company Entente Cadak Car has refused to meet with union delegates affiliated to the CNTS. He also made this clear during a TV program. The union faces the same problems with the Credit Mutuel du Senegal (CMS) where workers affiliated to the CNTS were silenced. Even though workers do not want to change their affiliation, the general manager is using all means to discourage them and has dedicated himself to campaigning against the CNTS.

Two staff representatives at the lnternational Commercial Banque (lCB) in Dakar were dismissed on 29 July 2013. The dismissal procedure is still ongoing, as the Regional Labour Inspectorate and the Ministry of Labour have rejected the legitimacy of the dismissal.

Union representation elections finally held20-04-2011

Senegal’s first union representation elections were held on 20 April with the participation of 18 trade union centres. President Wade declared himself in favour of strong unions, calling on the least representative organisations to join the most powerful ones in the interests 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. . Unionists considered the holding of these elections to be crucial, as the fragmentation of the trade union movement on account of personal or political interests has led to many trade union rights violations. The trade union centres had moved to have the elections adjourned on several occasions, considering there to be insufficient guarantees to ensure their fairness.

Political interference and frequent breakdown of social dialogue 30-11-2009

Many unions have complained of the government’s authoritarian attitude and the lack of any real 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 country’s principal organisations have criticised manoeuvres by politicians, and attempts to take over and divide the trade union movement. At least three national centres were created in 2009, making a total of 20. The education sector, which has already suffered severe budget cuts, was the main victim of political interference. The most representative organisations responded by grouping together. The holding of trade union elections is considered a priority. In April, Mamadou Diouf, General Secretary of the National Confederation of Autonomous Trade Unions of Senegal (CSA) protested that the authorities ignored his organisation.

Persistent anti-union discrimination30-11-2009

The National Workers Confederation of Senegal (CNTS) pointed out that some trade unions had been recognised without even holding an assembly or congress, while other organisations had had to wait years for official recognition recognition The designation by a government agency of a union as the bargaining agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, or acceptance by an employer that its employees can be collectively represented by a union. . The National Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Senegal (UNSAS) mentioned that in many enterprises workers still did not have the right or the possibility of electing their staff representatives, that activists were stalked, threatened with transfers or dismissed and that despite court rulings ordering the reinstatement of dismissed trade unionists managers were slow to comply.

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