Reference : Claiming workers' rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo: the case of the Collect...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Anthropology
Claiming workers' rights in the Democratic Republic of Congo: the case of the Collectif des ex-agents de la Gécamines
Rubbers, Benjamin mailto [Université de Liège - ULiège > Institut des sciences humaines et sociales > Anthropologie sociale >]
Review of African Political Economy
Carfax Publishing Company
Social movement struggles in Africa
Yes (verified by ORBi)
[en] resistance ; working class ; moral economy
[en] Within the context of its strategy for the reform of public companies in Africa, the World Bank became involved in redundancies of questionable legality. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, for example, the Bank arranged and financed a voluntary severance programme in 2003, whereby 10,000 employees of the mining company Gécamines, some 45% of its workforce, left in return for an arbitrarily fixed lump-sum payment. Based on ethnographic research, this paper discusses the history of the protest movement which emerged from this mass redundancy programme, the arguments deployed by the movement and the resources available to it. On the basis of this case study, the paper goes on to offer some thoughts on the conditions for social criticism in a transitional regime, heir to an authoritarian tradition of long standing, and operating under the tutelage of foreign donors.

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