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Date updated : 12-Apr-2017

Status: active

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Moroccan fish canner DOHA drops charges against union leader - now the company must reinstate 540 dismissed workers!

Over 500 workers in the Moroccan city of Agadir have been on strike since March 2015 at DOHA, part of the wealthy BICHA Group. DOHA workers, nearly 95% of whom are women, produce tinned fish and other products for worldwide export. The company, with the help of compliant legal and political authorities, has sought to dissolve the union, dismiss its members, criminalize and punish the strikers and confiscate the union leader's home.

Workers at the Agadir DOHA plant formed a branch of the national trade union center CDT in 2011. After a 20-day strike, local authorities under pressure from the popular movement sweeping the region urged the company to recognize the union. Beginning in 2014, however, management moved to have the union dissolved, imposed its own workplace delegates and stepped up pressure on workers. On March 6, 2015, management dismissed 51 workers, many of them CDT members. This provoked a strike, which continues to this day.

The company hired 500 new workers and sought punitive financial damages against active union members, including a claim for MAD 3 million (EUR 278,000) in damages from union leader Rahmoun Abdellah. In response to international pressure and the strong national campaign of the CDT, DOHA dropped all the charges against Rahmoun in February 2017. The struggle for reinstatement of the 540 workers and for union rights and recognition continues.

Use the form below to send a message to the DOHA company, calling on it to recognize the union, reinstate the dismissed workers and enter into good faith negotiations. The message is in French, followed by an English translation.

Your name: [required]
Your email: [required]
Your union/organization:
Here is the message you are sending:

A Monsieur Lahcen Bicha, directeur général, Les Conserveries Marocaines DOHA


Je suis heureux/se d’apprendre que DOHA a finalement abandonné les poursuites contre le responsable syndical Rahmoun Abdellah. Il est maintenant urgent de corriger les violations des droits découlant du refus de la société de reconnaître la CDT comme organisation représentative des travailleurs/euses d’Agadir et du licenciement massif des travailleurs/euses et membres syndicaux en mars 2015.

Je vous appelle donc à réintégrer les plus de 500 travailleurs/euses licenciés/es et remplacés/es par d’autres employés/es, et à reconnaître et négocier de bonne foi avec la CDT pour résoudre tous les problèmes liés à ce conflit. L’absence de mesures appropriées de votre part portera inévitablement atteinte à l’image de marque de votre société et du Maroc en général à l’étranger et sur les grands marchés d’exportation.

Veuillez agréer, Monsieur, l’expression de notre considération



To Lahcen Bicha, General Director, Les Conserveries Marocaines DOHA

Dear Mr. Bicha

I am pleased to learn that DOHA has finally dropped the charges against union leader Rahmoun Abdellah. It is now urgent to address the rights violations stemming from the company's refusal to recognize the CDT as the Agadir workers' representative and the mass dismissal of workers and union members in March 2015.

I therefore call on you to reinstate the more than 500 workers who were dismissed and replaced and to recognize and negotiate in good faith with the CDT to resolve all the issues in this conflict. Failure to do so will inevitably damage the reputation of your company and of Morocco abroad and in important export markets.

Yours sincerely

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