UCRB strike
Striking road drivers in Burkina Faso

Burkina Faso road strike wins action on worker concerns

Burkina Faso road workers ended a planned three-day strike early after winning promises of government action on road security and the extension of their collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

The Union des Chauffeurs Routiers du Burkina (UCRB) ended its threatened 72-hour strike action after one day, during which it said ‘the arteries of the city and the borders of the country’ had been blocked.

Its move followed a successful meeting on 7 February with the ministry of administration, territory, decentralisation and security (MATDS); the ministry of transport, urban mobility and road safety (MTMUSR); employers; and the Burkinabe Trade Union Confederation (CSB).

The extension of the CBA that was signed in 2011 will take effect from 10 May this year.

Drivers had also been protesting over the resurgence of harassment and extortion on the country’s road corridors and the lack of any progress in finding a solution.

They welcomed the government’s commitment to:

• put into operation as soon as possible the recently-created national co-ordination of police forces (CONACFP)

• assess the number of checkpoints, in order to reduce them within one month, and to enforce the code of ethics of roadside checks

• eliminate the crossing tax in municipalities without parking spaces for transiting vehicles

• set up a framework within one month for the UCRB, MATDS and MTMUSR to discuss, monitor and evaluate road traffic and racketeering issues

ITF head of inland transport Noel Coard said: “We congratulate the UCRB on this positive outcome, which we hope will result in road drivers being able to carry out their work free from fear for their safety.”

On 3 February, Mr Coard had sent a message of support to the UCRB over its ‘legitimate concerns and demands’.

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