Maputo — The General Director of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) on Monday said that Mozambique's Labour Consultative Commission (CCT) should be endowed with sufficient technical capacity so that the dialogue between the government, the trade unions and the employers' associations is successful.
The CCT is a tripartite negotiating forum, whose main tasks include recommending to the government annual increases in the statutory minimum wage.
Meeting in Maputo with the constituent parts of the CCT - the Labour Ministry, the trade union federations, and the Confederation of Mozambican Business Associations (CTA) - Ryder recognised that “social dialogue” is not easy, but requires the investment of political will, time, effort and respect for the opinion of others.
“For social dialogue to be successful, there must be an appropriate spirit”, he said. “Social dialogue does not mean one party imposing its will on the other, but the different parties getting together, and trying to merge their interests in order to reach an agreement, a compromise”.
Social dialogue, he continued, meant that the constituent parts of the CCT should depend on each other. It needed the CCT to be strong and representative so that it could speak with legitimacy in the name of its constituents,
Aware of the challenges facing Mozambique in promoting decent work for all, Ryder claimed that it is only through social dialogue that tripartite agreement can be reached, to achieve stability, social peace and the development of the country.
For her part, Labour Minister Helena Taipo said that social dialogue is already a reality in Mozambique. She noted that consensus on the CCT is such that when its decisions are forwarded to the government, they are almost never altered.
The general secretary of the main union federation, the Organisation of Mozambican Workers (OTM), Alexandre Munguambe, declared that social dialogue “is the only viable and advisable strategy for the pursuit of labour peace and economic and social development”.
The OTM, he added, is committed to the struggle for decent jobs, based on respect for the fundamental rights of workers. It was also committed to equality between men and women in the workplace, and to combating the worst forms of child labour. He thanked Ryder for the support the ILO has given the OTM, notably in training programmes, and in improving negotiating skills.
Ryder is on a three day visit to Mozambique that will end on Tuesday.