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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
06KINSHASA1268
2006-08-11 11:11:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kinshasa
Cable title:  

UPDATE ON DRC'S LEADING LABOR UNION

Tags:   ELAB  ECON  EMIN  PGOV  CG 
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VZCZCXRO7931
RR RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #1268 2231111
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 111111Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4578
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RUFOADA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
						C O N F I D E N T I A L KINSHASA 001268 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2016
TAGS: ELAB ECON EMIN PGOV CG
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON DRC'S LEADING LABOR UNION

REF: KINSHASA 398

Classified By: ECON OFFICER WBRAFMAN for REASONS 1.4 b/d.

C O N F I D E N T I A L KINSHASA 001268

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/11/2016
TAGS: ELAB ECON EMIN PGOV CG
SUBJECT: UPDATE ON DRC'S LEADING LABOR UNION

REF: KINSHASA 398

Classified By: ECON OFFICER WBRAFMAN for REASONS 1.4 b/d.


1. (SBU) The DRC's leading labor union continues to exert
little impact on workplace or political matters. EconOff and
PolOff met with Symphorien Dunia, President of the
Confederation Syndicale Du Congo (CSC), the DRC's leading
labor organization (reftel) August 7.


2. (SBU) Dunia reviewed some of CSC's 2006 objectives during
the meeting with EmbOffs. Dunia emphasized CSC members'
continuing attempts to negotiate collective bargaining
agreements in each formal sector workplace. He said (albeit
not entirely convincingly) that CSC was putting some priority
on getting these agreements signed first with large
businesses. However, he could not define a large enterprise,
explaining that it varied according to the sector, and could
mean more than 20 employees, or more than 50. (Note: In
Kinshasa, Dunia estimates that more than 600 formal sector
businesses exist, and well over 1000 country-wide. End
note.) Further, he did not indicate that the unions have had
any notable success in obtaining or enforcing collective
bargaining agreements.


3. (C) Dunia singled out the mining companies' labor law
violations, particularly those he said that "Asian-run"
entities in Katanga committed. He described the sector as
"anarchic," from an employee's point of view. He said that
many do not follow basic health and safety laws and
regulations with regard to both employees and neighboring
residents. (Note: He said that he had not heard any negative
reports about American mining company Phelps Dodge. End
note.) Dunia complained that Asian mining companies merely
"pillage" the DRC's natural resources and create no social
infrastructure in the process. He said mining companies have
not threatened union chapters that have complained about such
problems, admitting that perhaps it is because unions remain
weak. He also said unions are unable to engage the GDRC in
labor law enforcement in mining or any other sector because
the "state does not exist." (Note: The GDRC promulgated a
new labor code and regulations in 2002, with Work Bank
support. End note.)


4. (C) Dunia noted that CSC did not play any political or
institutional role in elections, although Dunia did recently
make a public statement critical of the transitional
government, in his capacity as CSC president. The CSC did
not publicly endorse any candidates or otherwise engage in
election activities such as sending members to voting or
compilation centers to witness the voting and counting
processes, although it did encourage its members to vote.
Dunia claims he has been the target of harassment by the MLC
in response to his public statement and because he is from
the East. However, he did not offer evidence to support
these claims.

Comment
--------------


5. (SBU) Unions continue to remain largely ineffectual in the
DRC. It is not clear whether their institutional capacity
will be able to develop alongside expected post-transition
economic development. End comment.
MEECE