With support from the IUF a determined union of forest service workers in Ivory Coast is challenging anti-union repression and demanding workers be given adequate means to protect the country’s forests.
In September last year, the union of forest and water service workers CNATEF reached agreement with the government, following a strike, on a platform for negotiations in the sector. Despite this, the union’s demands concerning wages, travel allowances, staffing and the funding and administration of the government forest and water ministry were ignored.
The union therefore held two legal strikes, in February and again in May. The government responded by suspending payment of wages for union officers, transferring activists to remote posts and initiating disciplinary proceedings against strikers and union officers.
Following intervention from the IUF and protests to the government from affiliates, all sanctions against union members have been lifted and a negotiation mechanism and process are in place.