Population: 1 300 000
ILO Core Conventions Ratified: 29 - 87 - 98 - 100 - 105 - 111 - 182
The Gabonese Confederation of Trade Unions reported widespread discrimination against and harassment of its members, including arbitrary arrests and imprisonment.
Trade union rights in law
Right to join trade unions: All workers have the right freely to form and become members of the trade union of their choice. Trade unions must be registered to obtain official recognition.
Trade unions and confederations can freely join international bodies and participate in their activities.
Right to strike - limitations: Workers in the public sector can join a trade union and have the right to strike, however that right is restricted where it poses a threat to public safety.
A strike may only be started following eight days’ advance notice and after arbitration has failed. The Labour Code prohibits the government from intervening directly against strikers who adhere to the arbitration and notification procedures.
Discrimination against trade unions: The law does not expressly prohibit discrimination against trade unions. However, the courts can order employers that are found guilty of discrimination to compensate the employees concerned.
Trade union rights in practice
Widespread anti-union harassment: Trade unionists in both the public and private sectors are often discriminated against. They are regularly harassed or simply dismissed. The Gabonese Confederation of Trade Unions (CGSL) reported in 2006 that there had been many cases in recent years of arbitrary arrests of CGSL members, and even of imprisonment on trumped up charges. The government also ignores the elected leadership of the CGSL, appointing workers’ representatives of its own choosing to tripartite bodies at both the national and international levels, including the 2006 International Labour Conference.