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Benin: Paving the way for constructive social dialogue for national progress

Enhancing responsible business conduct

Benin witnessed a pivotal moment in social dialogue when an agreement was signed in November 2023. This was a major milestone, formalising a collaboration between major trade unions and the two employers’ organisations, CNP and CONEB. Our trade union partner, COSI Benin, with support from trade union CSA Benin, played a crucial role in establishing this unique framework for cooperation.

Benin Constructive Social Dialogue Agreement Employers Organization Trade Union

How did this collaboration come about?

Noël Chadaré, General Secretary of COSI Benin says, “This initiative stemmed from the bold interventions of COSI Benin. We first developed a plan within the framework of the CNV Internationaal programme. Our objective was to facilitate a strategic collaboration between trade unions and employers to improve bargaining power. We hope this will further pave the way towards effective tripartite dialogue with the government, employer organisations, and unions, as this has become increasingly difficult in Benin in recent years.”


What does the future hold for constructive social dialogue in Benin?

Noël Chadaré says, “We hope this experience will serve as a beacon of success, demonstrating the power of dialogue to drive socio-economic progress. Moving forward, we envision a future where open and collaborative dialogue becomes the norm, fostering national development and enhancing responsible business conduct and industrial relations stability in Benin."

Has this collaboration between trade unions and employers shown any results?

Noël Chadaré tells us, “Yes, this innovative approach has yielded tangible results, especially in influencing the negotiations to increase in the interprofessional minimum wage. These results combined with well-defined rules and an action plan, will work towards addressing other crucial issues, such as decent work, corporate social responsibility, and youth employability,"

Benin Constructive Social Dialogue Workers Employers Trade union

Social dialoque is the most effective avenue

Benin Constructive Social Dialogue Agreement Employers Organization Trade Union

A shared belief in constructive and inclusive social dialogue is at the heart of this partnership. Both employer and worker organisations view social dialogue as the most effective avenue for achieving their goals. This motivated M. Albin Feliho, President of Confédération Nationale des Employeurs du Bénin CONEB and M. Regis Facia, of CNP Benin, Vice-President of Conseil national du patronat du Bénin CNP-Bénin, to formalise the cooperation between trade unions and employers.

Our approach has proven to be a powerful catalyst in enabling unions to play a more significant role in negotiations. We especially saw this when an increase in the guaranteed interprofessional minimum wage (SMIG) was being negotiated. The wage rose from 30,000 to 42,000 francs, a significant win considering the sharp rise in the cost of living in Benin.

Publication date 28 05 2024