A tentative agreement with employers’ organisations was reached in March 2009 but efforts to conclude talks have since stalled.
In a bid to get things moving, officials from the ITF’s sub-regional office for Francophone Africa and ECOWAS countries joined the national co-ordinating committee and road transport affiliates in Abidjan from 13-15 January to plan their next steps.
This collaboration was part of the joint education project between the ITF and Finland’s Trade Union Solidarity Centre (SASK), which aims to strengthen affiliates’ organising and bargaining skills.
The unions then held a press conference and warned that if progress towards the CBA was not made, they would consider taking strike action. The story was widely covered by the country’s media.
A delegation consisting of Bayla Sow, ITF Francophone Africa and ECOWAS countries representative; Assita Ouedraogo, ITF/SASK project co-ordinator; the ITF Ivory Coast national co-ordinator; and the leader of the National Council of Professional Drivers then met with government and industry representatives. These included the ILO country representative, the ministers of employment and state, the transport minister’s cabinet director, and the chair of the board of the National Social Insurance Fund.
Bayla Sow said: “This was a positive meeting. All the different authorities promised to make every effort to facilitate the rapid signing of the collective agreement between road transport drivers and employers.
“This agreement is a priority for us because it would benefit more than 150,000 truck drivers, through the provision of a minimum wage, social protection and better working conditions.”
ITF inland transport secretary Mac Urata welcomed the development and hoped the employers would match the unions’ efforts.