Guinea - Working conditions

Wages are fixed according to the Government Labor Code. The official maximum working week for industrial workers is 48 hours, but there is little enforcement.

Guinea has a total labor force of some 3 million workers, and according to official 1995 statistics, some 50 percent of the workers had no formal employment. However, estimates that include participation in the informal economy and subsistence agriculture indicate an unemployment rate of between 8 and 11 percent. Unemployment figures have little significance in Guinea. There are very few with no work at all.

The civil service is the largest formal employer, engaging 3.6 percent of the population. An estimated 16.4 percent of the population earns wages from industry, commerce, and services, with 80 percent of the population employed in agriculture, of which most are engaged in subsistence farming. There is no unemployment benefit, and those who do not work rely on support from charities or their families. Many people would like a modern sector job but eke out an existence on family farms or in casual informal sector activities (such as hawking , portering, scavenging) in the urban areas.

The Confederation des Travailleurs de Guinée (Confederation of Guinea Workers, CTG) is the main trade union in Guinea. However, it has done little to improve working conditions and has generally lacked the ability to confront the government or large employers.

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