In January 2023, the Algerian government submitted amendments to Law 90/14, which should be adopted shortly by Parliament. The changes will severely impact trade union rights in the country and independent unions were not consulted by the government in their creation. The proposed amendments will have a significant impact on trade union activities, such as the possibility for trade unions to be affiliated to political parties, the right of the government to refuse the registration of a trade union without the possibility of appeal, the prohibition of unions from investing their income or buying real estate, and restrictions on membership of international organisations. The list of strictures is such that it makes it impossible for independent trade unions to operate in Algeria.
This is also the second time in less than a year that the Algerian government has changed legislation that affects union activity, without any consultation with unions.
Right to civil liberties
Faleh Hammoudi was brought before the courts for speaking up against the Algerian government’s violations of migrants’ rights. In the past years, there had been an escalation of repression against human rights defenders in Algeria. On 20 February 2020, the Tlemcen Court of Misdemeanours, in Northern Algeria, convicted Faleh Hammoudi to three years’ imprisonment and a fine of 100,000 Algerian dinar (US$ 737).
Faleh Hammoudi is the head of the Tlemcen office of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH) and the national secretary of the Autonomous National Union of Public Administration Staff (SNAPAP), in charge of the human rights and migration department.
Dismissals for participating in strike action
In Algeria, the employees of El Watan, a national newspaper, organised a strike in July 2022 to protest the non-payment of wages. In response, the employer called on a group of shareholders and retirees of the company to replace workers on strike. While the collective action was ongoing, the general secretary of the union section and a member of the union were physically assaulted by several shareholders. Prior to the strike, a member of the board of directors of the newspaper called several workers and threatened them with dismissal if they took part in the strike.