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The Right of Association
The Constitution provides workers, except members of the military and police, the right to associate in trade unions, and workers exercised this right in practice. The Constitution also provides that unions are prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity; however, government interference in union activities, especially union elections and leadership struggles, was common both before and during the civil war.
Although most economic activity was interrupted by the conflict, unions proliferated. There were approximately 30 functioning unions organized loosely under two-umbrella groups, the Liberian Federation of Labor Unions (LFLU) and the Congress of Liberian Trade Unions (CLTU), with the common objective of protecting the rights of their 60,000 members, who largely were unemployed. The actual power that the unions exercised was extremely limited. Since the country's work force largely was illiterate, economic activities beyond the subsistence level were very limited, and the labor laws tended to favor management.
During the year, the Government strictly enforced the union registration requirements that fell into disuse during the war. Applicants needed to register at two different ministries, and processing time was arbitrary. Some groups received official status in only a few days while the Government never issued registration for others.
The law does not prohibit anti-union discrimination; however, under the Taylor administration, there were discriminations against union activities.
Labor unions traditionally have been affiliated with international labor groups such as the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions.
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