ITUC-Africa and ILO/ACTRAV deeply concerned about the attack on freedom of association in Guinea-Bissau

Keywords : Newsletters Human and trade union rights Guinea Bissau

The African regional organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) expressed grave concern over recent developments in Guinea-Bissau that violate the freedom of association and trade union independence of the União Nacional dos Trabalhadores da Guiné Central Sindical (UNTG-CS), one of its affiliates in the country.

As a legitimate and recognised trade union, UNTG-CS recently convened its Congress, at which Júlio António Mendonça, their General Secretary, was re-elected. The ITUC-Africa has, however, been dismayed to learn that some senior government officials refused to recognise the results of the Congress and are trying to create a parallel union to torpedo the UNTG-CS.

Recognising the critical importance of freedom of association and the essential role that trade unions play in protecting workers’ rights, the ITUC-Africa responded promptly to this alarming situation. The ITUC-Africa has already taken some steps to ensure that Guinea-Bissau’s working people are heard and their fundamental rights are respected.

Against this background, ITUC-Africa recently organised a mission with the organisation’s General Secretary, Comrade Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, and his Deputy, Joel Odigie, to visit Guinea-Bissau and assess the situation on the ground. The purpose of the mission was to have meetings with representatives of the UNTG-CS and to discuss measures to be taken for the resolution of the crisis.

In the same vein, on 12 June in Geneva, on the sidelines of the 111th session of the International Labour Conference, the ITUC-Africa and the Workers’ Bureau of the International Labour Organisation (ILO/ACTRAV) organised an exchange meeting with representatives of the UNTG-CS. The meeting provided an opportunity to discuss the situation faced by workers in Guinea-Bissau and to consider joint action to help resolve the crisis.

The meeting also discussed strategies to increase the involvement of Portuguese-speaking workers in ITUC-Africa and ILO/ACTRAV activities and programmes.

The ITUC Africa and the ILO/ACTRAV have reaffirmed their commitment to freedom of association and trade union democracy in Guinea-Bissau.

The current situation in Guinea-Bissau is a case in point of the ongoing challenges for workers and trade unions in the region. ITUC-Africa and its partners remain determined to continue fighting to protect workers’ rights and promote social justice throughout Africa.

Documents & Media Related


Download Files


Play Audio Files


Click to zoom and browse



This guidance note presents the COS framework; it reviews the concrete steps that can be used (...)


TUDEP is a learning tool meant to support trade unions worldwide in the application of the (...)


The pamphlet aims to introduce trade unionists to the 2030 Agenda and its overlap with the (...)