Labour Inspector confirms the right of Workers from Canal + Horizons to join SYNPICS

Statement from the Senegalese Union for Professionals of Information and Communication

Dakar, November 23, 2002

The workers from Canal + Horizons Senegal have been confirmed their right to union representation and membership of the Senegalese Union for Professionals of Information and Communication (Syndicat des Professionnels de l'Information et de la Communication du Sénégal - SYNPICS), as confirmed by the Labour and Social Security Inspection in Dakar.

The Labour Inspector in charge of the case corroborated this decision last Friday before Mr Amadou Arame Diagne, Canal + Horizon Administrative and Financial Director and two lawyers on one side, and Mr Alpha A. SALL, SYNPICS National General Secretary and delegates of CANAL employees on the other side.

This judgement follows up on a legal complaint for violation of freedom of association filed last September by SYNPICS against the Senegalese branch of Canal + Horizons.

The direction of the company was alleging notably that:

"Canal + Horizons cannot host an union branch of SYNPICS as far as its employees cannot be legally affiliated to this union ". It added: " union rights (…) are not absolute rights ".

On September 9, 2002, immediately after the installation of the SYNPICS branch, the Direction solicited an authorisation of dismissal against Mr. Nassirou NDIAYE, General Secretary of the Branch, basing on an fabricated file including a "testimony" from an agent of the Administrative and Financial Direction alleging that Mr. NDIAYE had held defamatory remarks against the same Administrative and Financial Direction. The request had been rejected.

The Labour Inspector stated that the Canal + employees can affiliate to the SYNPICS and that freedom to join the union is an absolute freedom. He thus specified to the protagonists their respective rights and prerogatives.