Democratic Republic of the Congo

Trade Unions in Central Africa


According to Countryaah, Angola is a country located in Central Africa. The very limited trade union rights contained in legislation are seldom complied with in practice and the human rights situation in the country has deteriorated in recent years. However, there are union actions. Some consultations with the government take place, but no direct collective agreement negotiations.

Child labor is widespread.



The União Nacional de Trabalhadores Angolanos (UNTA-CS) (website in Portuguese) was formed in the late 1950’s. When the liberation movement MPLA came to power in independence in 1975, UNTA became the only trade union central organization in the country and has been closely linked to the government.
UNTA has had its base among government employees in the capital Luanda. UNTA is currently divided into two camps where one current wants to become politically independent and the other continues to work closely with the MPLA. In 2018, UNTA, which is a member of the International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC had 268,900 members. UNTA is also affiliated with the Organization of African Trade Union Unity, OATUU.

In 1996, seven unions broke away from UNTA and formed the Central Geral de Sindicatos Independentes e Livres de Angola (CGSILA). In 2018, the organization had 93,000 members in seven unions. CGSILA is also affiliated with the ITUC. The formation of the independent CGSILA was an important breakthrough in the fight for democratic freedoms and rights in the country. Today, there is another central organization, Central Sindical Angolana (CSA), which previously worked in exile in Zaire. CSA lacks international affiliation.


In the early 1990’s, the trade union movement broke with the regime and proclaimed itself as an independent trade union movement. According to the country’s labor market laws, employees have the right to form and join trade unions and the right to negotiate collective agreements. Despite this, the authorities have refused to register the public employees’ unions. Violations of trade union rights are common. Both the World Trade Union Confederation, the International Trade Union Confederation, the ITUC and the Organization of African Trade Union Unity, OATUU have repeatedly protested against the government’s interference in trade union affairs. Protests against Chinese companies in the country have often led to strikes.



Confederation of Workers’ Union of Cameroon (CSTC). The CSTC, which has 150,000 members, was long paralyzed by an internal power struggle that was largely provoked by the government, which actively supported one side of the conflict. In 2011, the organization split and the Confédération des Syndicale Autonomes du Cameroun, CSAC, which now has 75,000 members, was formed. In addition to these two, there are two other central organizations, the Union des Syndicats Libres du Cameroon, the USCL with 50,000 members and the Centrale Syndicale du Secteur Public du Cameroun with 60,000 members.

These four are all affiliated with the ITUC.


According to the constitution, trade union freedoms and rights are guaranteed, but persecution of trade unionists has continued. Strikes are common, often caused by the state not being able to pay salaries to employees. The trade union actions have led to the unions being persecuted by those in power.

The Central African Republic, together with Sierra Leone and Niger, is the country with the highest proportion of child workers in the world. According to Unicef, almost half of all children aged 5–14 work to a greater or lesser extent. Slave labor also occurs.

Central African Republic


In 1990, the Confederation Syndicale des Travailleurs Centrafricains, CSTC was formed. The organization consists of nine member unions, six of which organize employees in the public sector and have 11,124 members. CSTC is affiliated to the International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC.

Since 2011, there is another central organization that is also affiliated with the ITUC: Union Syndicale des Travailleurs de Centrafrique, USTC with 15,998 members.


Chad is one of 9 countries in Central Africa. In 1996, a labor market law was passed in which the restrictions on the formation of trade unions were removed. Trade union rights are often violated.

World Trade Union,The International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC, has called on the government to better control the multinational (oil) companies in the country and ensure that oil revenues are distributed fairly.

Strikes among public employees due to delayed wage payments and cuts in the state budget have become increasingly common as the economic crisis has become more serious. The trade union situation has also deteriorated and more and more groups are subject to a ban on strikes.

As in many other African countries, the informal sector is growing dramatically and the union is trying to organize cooperatives. Child labor is widespread.



The Union des Syndicats du Chad, UST with 55,300 members broke away in 1990 from the close cooperation with the state and the party. UST has 18 affiliates.

Today, there is another central organization, the Confédération Libre des Travailleurs du Chad, CLTT, with 70,000 members. Both organizations are affiliated with the World Trade Union,Int ernational Trade Union Confederation, ITUC.


Despite the situation in the country, union activities are conducted. The unions have also begun to organize the informal sector, e.g. the market women in Kinshasa. Trade union training is conducted, i.a. with Swedish assistance. The work against HIV / AIDS and Ebola is also a priority activity.

In the foreign mining companies, several of which are Chinese, all trade union activities are opposed. There are several reports that union activists have been fired, arrested and tortured.

Democratic Republic of the Congo


In 1951, a group of African workers defied the ban on trade unions and the Union Nationale des Travailleurs du Congo, UNTC, was formed. For a long time, the organization was an integral part of the one-party system, but since the early 1990’s, a number of different political parties have started their own trade unions. Financial support from outside has strengthened the trade union movement, but also helped to maintain the trade union division.

Three key organizations are connected to the world union, the International Trade Union Confederation, ITUC : – Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT) 51,000 members – Confédération Syndicale du Congo (CSC), 390,105 members

Union Nationale des Travailleurs du Congo (UNTC) 129,040 members.

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