May Day in Ivory Coast: Wages at the Heart of Union Demands

maryam lahbal
maryam lahbal
3 Min Read

In Ivory Coast, May 1st, 2023, wage increases and respect for the minimum wage are among the main demands of workers’ defense organizations, such as the CGT-CI.

Organizers are planning several events in Ivory Coast to celebrate the international day of Struggle for Workers’ Rights on May 1st, 2023. The Prime Minister will receive the trade union centers at the Prime Minister’s office and will preside over an official ceremony. Among the main demands of workers’ defense organizations: wage increases and respect for the minimum wage.

“Many companies do not apply the increase in the minimum wage”

Désiré Atsé, Deputy Secretary General of the Generation Confederation of Workers of Ivory Coast (CGT-CI), lists the main demands of his union: “The increase in wages in all sectors, public and private, respect for freedoms unions, the revaluation of the Smic and the very application of the Smic in companies. »

In Ivory Coast, the minimum wage is not indexed to inflation. Between 2013 and 2023, it has not changed. It was finally increased by 25% on January 1, from 60,000 to 75,000 CFA francs (91 euros to 114 euros). But this increase is not always respected by the companies, regrets Désiré Atsé: “Many companies are refusing to apply the 75,000 even though they have made commitments.” There are appeals, there is the Labor Inspectorate which is practically powerless. Even the state practically lets it go. »

“75,000 CFA francs, to live in Abidjan, it’s not possible”

The union official evokes the good economic health of the country to ask for the revaluation of the Smic: “We can better revalue the salary since in Ivory Coast, the economy is doing very well. It’s not us who say it, it’s the President who says it. The economy is resilient, it is doing well. 75,000, to live in Abidjan, it is not possible. »

In Ivory Coast, a memorandum of understanding has linked the main trade union organizations and the government since 2018 to avoid strike movements.

Maryam Lahbal

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