wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
06CASABLANCA235 2006-03-02 15:09:00 UNCLASSIFIED Consulate Casablanca
Cable title:  

NUMBER OF STRIKES UP BUT DAYS LOST WAY DOWN

Tags:   ELAB ETRD PGOV PHUM KTEX MO 
pdf how-to read a cable


1. This cable is sensitive but unclassified. Please
protect accordingly.



2. (U) Summary: The Government of Morocco reported
recently that the number of strikes in Morocco's
private sector rose by 10 percent in 2005, compared to


2004. In contrast, however, the number of work-days
lost to strikes fell to a low not seen since before the
enactment of the new Labor Code. In addition, the GOM
claims that labor inspectors have had a strong hand in
averting numerous work stoppages and settling worker
claims in the informal process. End Summary.



--------------------------


Strike Styles Change


--------------------------





3. (U) According to statistics from Morocco's
Directorate of Labor, the number of strikes in the
private sector rose 10 percent to 154 in 2005, compared
to 140 in 2004, 146 in 2003, and 237 in 2002. The
increase is surprising considering the downward trend
seen since the implementation of the new Labor Code.
Even more surprising are related statistics. In 2005
the number of days lost to strikes dropped a
significant 27.5 percent to 72,745 compared to the
previous year's 100,301. The number of workers
participating in strikes, however, increased by a
whopping 66.6 percent.



--------------------------


Labor Inspectors Making a Difference


--------------------------





4. (U) Morocco's approximately 300 labor inspectors
are struggling under the new, more stringent, Labor
Code, however, they appear to be making a difference.
Unfortunately, according to the inspectors themselves
they feel that they are stretched too thin to
accomplish all that is required of them under the new
code with the limited number of inspectors available.
They appear to be somewhat successful, nevertheless, at
assisting in mediating settlements of individual
claims. The inspectors maintain that, due to their
intercession, 680 Moroccan firms were able to avoid 832
threatened actions such as work stoppages, slowdowns,
and strikes. In addition, through intervention, the
inspectors claim to have mediated disputes between
individuals and firms settling claims allowing wage
earners to recover more than 244.17 million dirhams in
unpaid leave and other compensations, as well as
payment for unlawful dismissals.



--------------------------


Still no Strike Legislation


--------------------------





5. (U) In 2003, Morocco's social partners attempted to
hash out with the GOM, new legislation regulating the
rules on workers' rights to strike(ref C). After an
initial year-long frenzy, with the proposed bill being
passed to tripartite representatives for input, the
bill faded into oblivion due to lack of willingness on
the side of all three the social partners to
compromise. It has languished on the shelf for nearly
two years. (Note: According to some union
representatives speaking unofficially, there is a
chance that the bill may be resurrected at the time of
the May Day labor celebrations.)



--------------------------


Comment


--------------------------





6. (SBU) Despite the increase in the actual number of
strikes reported in Morocco in 2005, it appears the
overall news is good on the labor front. The fact that
the number of days lost to actions is down and
participation of employees is up could indicate a
greater awareness on employees' part of the overall
effect of the actions. Morocco's Director of Labor,
Abdelaziz Addoum, is optimistic about the future of
Morocco's labor sector but admits there is still a long
way to go. In recent meetings with Laboff, he voiced
his satisfaction with the USDOL Social Dialogue project
but at the same time made it clear that he would
welcome any further assistance available from the USG
in areas still struggling to comply with the new code.
The areas most in need of improvement are health and
safety, mediation and arbitration, labor statistics and
gender issues.

GREENE