Armenia - Labor

As of 2001, Armenia's labor force numbered approximately 1.4 million. In 2000, 42% were involved in industry and construction; 44% in forestry and in agriculture, and 14% in services and other sectors. The unemployment rate was estimated at 20% in 2001.

Legislation passed in 1992 guarantees workers the right to bargain and organize collectively. An independent labor federation was created in 1997. However, organized labor remained weak as of 2002, because of high unemployment and a slow economy. Collective bargaining does not occur because most large employers are still under state control.

Armenians are guaranteed a minimum wage which was set at $9.00 per month as of 2002. The standard legal workweek was 40 hours. Children under the age of 16 are prohibited by law from full-time labor. Due to the dire economic situation, none of these legal standards are relevant. The government promulgates minimum occupational health and safety standards. However, a lack of government resources and general worker insecurity prevent any effective enforcement.

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