The purpose of this paper is to shed light on the realities of Algerian employee relations and the challenges autonomous trade unionists encounter in their activities, which are normally far removed from the eyes of the international community.
In total, 12 semi-structured interviews were conducted with Algerian autonomous trade union leaders, union members and non-members. The collected data were analysed using a thematic approach.
The interview results brought into relief the challenges of Algerian trade unionism with the following four themes: first, scepticism towards the only government-affiliated trade union in Algeria; second, the relationship between autonomous unions and the government; third, strike actions and intimidation/harassment; and fourth, views of non-trade unionists and the future of Algerian trade unionism.
The sensitivity of the topic and widespread fear limited the number of interviewees and the length of interviews.
This paper provides recent empirical evidence reflecting the contemporary nature of employee relations in Algeria, and its discussions consider the prerequisites for a more effective protection of workers’ rights in Algeria.
This study addresses the lack of examination of trade union activities in North Africa and in Algeria in particular. Whereas studies on employment relations in emerging economies have been conducted mainly at the macro level, this study makes important contributions by providing a first micro-level insight into the realities of trade unionism in Algeria through giving voice to those who struggle daily to protect workers’ rights.
Chelghoum, A., Takeda, S., Wilczek, B. and Homberg, F. (2016), "The challenges and future of trade unionism in Algeria: a lost cause?", Employee Relations, Vol. 38 No. 3, pp. 351-372. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-11-2014-0135Download as .RIS
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