Labour Day Celebrations in Togo: Social Dialogue Issue and the Trade Union Determination

Keywords : Newsletters Human and trade union rights Togo

Lomé, Togo - On May 1st, 2024, Togo joined the rest of the world in marking International Workers’ Day, a memorable day in the history of the trade union movement. The day was marked not only by traditional celebrations, but also by a meeting between Civil Service Minister Gilbert Bawara and representatives of the country’s trade union confederation.

The purpose of the meeting, organised by the Coordination des Centrales Syndicales du Togo (CCST), was to present the government and employers with a list of grievances symbolising the traditional commitment of the trade union movement. However, the solemn procession could not take place as planned due to the current socio-political situation in the country.

The Secretary General of the Union Nationale des Syndicats Indépendants du Togo (UNSIT) and spokesman for the CCST, SENOUVO Vissikou, expressed his disappointment that the government was not available to officially receive the list of grievances. But he stressed that they had engaged in frank and open discussions with the government.

"We have a list of grievances that we wanted to present to the government and the employers, as is trade union tradition, and which we wanted to take officially to the Palais de Congrès at the end of a procession to hand over in front of all the workers, but this was not possible because of the prevailing political circumstances; we understand that the authorities are not available, which means that we can’t officially hand over the list of grievances. But I can assure you that open and frank talks are taking place with the government," said SENOUVO Vissikou, Secretary General of UNSIT and spokesman for the Coordination des Centrales Syndicales du Togo (CCST).

The list of grievances includes key issues such as the [functioning and] effectiveness of social dialogue, the implementation of universal health insurance and the National Pact for Social Stability and its impact on workers.

In response, Minister Gilbert Bawara assured the unions of the government’s willingness to engage in constructive dialogue on the major socio-economic challenges and issues facing the country. He also stressed the importance of closely monitoring the implementation of universal health insurance and ensuring social and economic stability through the National Pact.

While wishing the workers a happy Labour Day, the Minister paid tribute to their dedication and commitment, underlining their crucial contribution to maintaining peace and promoting the country’s economic and social progress.

The Labour Day celebrations thus highlighted the importance of social dialogue and trade union action in the quest for better working and living conditions for all Togolese workers, reflecting the spirit of solidarity and determination that drives the trade union movement in Togo.

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