Legal Systems, Labor Relations and Regulatory Practices

Subject: Law
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There was no common practice to join trade union or labor movement in Mozambique until its freedom from the colonial rule of Portugal in 1975; however, the workers were required to earn more than a substantial level to qualify as a member of trade union – this was a barrier for labor movement in the country. Paavo (1993) noted that the workers were suppressed by the fascist and corporatist unions; so, they earned very poor wages due to color and racial discrimination, absence of collective bargaining, unfair treatment to the majority of black workers, unhealthy workplace conditions, and racial oppression.

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Lloyd (2011) noted that independence of Mozambique was the result of proletarian revolution under the Marxist leader Frelimo; in this regard, workers were the vital force to continue a decade of bloody guerrilla struggle against Portuguese dictatorship; later, the new government aimed to empower workers right by establishing a militant and trade union bannered as Organization of Mozambican Workers (OTM). The OTM continued a Soviet model of political economy that generated tremendous economic growth and social progress; however, the fall of communist system in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in eighties later influenced the Mozambicans to align with open market economy along with western style of democracy.

Under such a background, this paper has aimed to scrutinize the legal systems, labor relations, and regulatory practices in Mozambique and in other countries of the world, by focusing on the nature, source, standards, and effects of labor law, employee relationship, public policy towards worker associations, and their advantages and disadvantages to harmonize with international labor laws.

Concept of Labor Standards, Labor Relations, and Social Legislation

This part of the paper will scrutinize the conceptual framework of labor standards, labor relations, and social legislation that will ultimately assist the readers with a better understanding of the legal systems, labor relations, and regulatory practices in Mozambique:

Legal System and Labor Law of Mozambique

ICCPR (2013) pointed out that the legal system of Mozambique is primarily based upon civil law; however, the legal system of the country tries to ensure that rule of law is upheld at every aspect of social order; moreover, the laws of the country are enacted by the parliament, and the Council of Ministers approve the Acts by decrees. The legal system of Mozambique has undergone major shifts since its independence and has evidenced the amendment of the constitution several times; while the first constitution of 1975 endorsed one-party socialist country without any separation of judiciary from the executive, the constitution of 1990 has urged to establish independence of judiciary by modifying the court system.

On the other hand, it is important to note that Mozlegal and CAL (2007) pointed out that in Mozambique, labor laws and regulations have originated from the constitutional commandment, customary devices put forward by the legislature of the country, elected parliamentary members, global settlements, and other agreements, in addition to cooperative employment decrees.

International Labor Standards, Labor Relations, and Social Legislation

ILO (2013) has pointed out that international labor standards are the legal benchmarks introduced by the ILO; moreover, the governments, employers, and employees have agreed upon and confirmed these standards in order to ensure worker rights, sustainable wages, and job security with a global yardstick of different international conventions and treaties. The international labor standards have been put into practice through the ratification of international conventions and treaties; later, the member states enact laws locally in order to turn them into legal bindings for the domestic governments, employers, and labor organizations; additionally, ILO plays a vital role to assess the progress and to make recommendations for further improvement of workers’ condition.

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ILO (2008) added that starting from its journey, the governing body of ILO has organized eight conventions and set out basic principles to ensure freedom of association, collective bargaining, equal treatment, protecting forced labor, gender discrimination, child labor, administration, inspection of workplace, and employment policy to promote workers’ skills providing training and social securities. The principles of international labor standards have given stress on substantial wage, working time, occupational safety, health, and elimination of discrimination based on race, ethnicity, and color in order to ensure a sustainable industrial relation.

The Nature, Source, Function, Effects, and Applications of Labor Laws

The nature of labor law is to civilize the progress of employment standards as well as ensuring a better livelihood for the working classes; it is arguable that even in ancient civilized societies, working classes suffered from slave labor and high degree of suppression. As a result, the trend of these laws has now been more inclined towards offering them security, protection, and fair treatment from the part of the employers.

However, it is important to state that even though the sources of labor laws are different in different countries of the world, there is one starting place or deep-rooted reason from which such laws are originated; this cause is “suppression”; after industrial revolution, labor-movement focused on how moneymaking globalization would deteriorate labor’s bargaining-powers because businesses would employ cheap overseas labor.

On the other hand, it very important at this stage to focus on the different sources of labor laws in different countries of the world. According to Lowisch (2003), in the European Union, the source of labor law is firstly the law of its constituent nations; however, merely with the exception of France, the labor law in the EU is a united set of conventions; conversely, in many other countries, these are comprised in numerous solitary statutes (for example in Germany).

Lowisch (2003) further added that in Japan, the nations of the EU are forced to conform to the contracts of ILO; however, these contracts never unswervingly effect their domestic regulations; in addition, the European nations must conform to the ECHR and the European Social Charter; moreover, joint treaties between the community and members are the other sources of labor law. On the other hand, Baker and McKenzie (2011) noted that the jurisdiction of the USA possesses deep-rooted common law customs; however, the employment laws of the country originate from an array of authorized sources, for example, constitutional bylaw, statutory commandment, governmental rules, and local conventions.

ILO (2006) wonderfully pointed out that the labor laws encompass a homogeneous function to defend workers’ rights and set aside workers’ compulsions and tasks; in addition, the most important functions of employment laws are to offer workers’ material and psychological happiness, workspace diversity, equal treatment, impartial compensation, family friendly workplace, intensive motion, anti discriminatory policy, and workplace health and security.

ILO (2006) and Deakin (2008) put forward the idea that there are huge numbers of positive effects of the labor laws, for example, better worker health and safety, powerful unions, and augmented worker pay; however these are often problematic for the corporate bosses and they often suffer from negative effects such as augmented expenses, and supplementary lawsuits and fines. However, in modern days, it is highly essential and compulsory for all business corporations to ensure the application of all their respective labor laws within their regular practices.

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Employees and Employers Relationship by Local and International Law

Bignami, Casale and Fasani (2013) added that the employee and employer relationship is the most prioritized concern of ILO, for which the organization has given its highest emphasis at the 85th International Labor Conference in 1997; it prepared special recommendations for the member states in order to implement sustainable employment relation and to raise further agenda for future improvement. In the 87th session, ILO working committee identified the necessity of inspection and examination of the progress of employee-employer relationship by the resolution prescribed by the labor experts; ILO pointed out that the workers need to have enhanced protection in the diverse legal systems ratifying the local legislation to provide or excellent employment relationships.

In the 90th session of ILC, ILO faced many challenges to refocus on the employee and employer relationship as a fundamental mission of the organization because of increasingly unprotected labor market and free flow of workers without any border barrier; however, technology integration and some other debates have also shaped new employment relationship.

Bignami et al. (2013) also added that the upsurge of globalization and the succeeding boost of competition among the business communities, along with integration of new technologies, increase in productivity in the concurrent era, decrease in trend of welfare state, and economic meltdown, have accentuated the formulation of new legislative framework for the changing dynamics of labor law groundwork. The impact of such shifting on the employee and employer’s relationship and the divided production model into many interdependent sections through continuous chain of civil contract characteristics have resulted in decentralized production to assist the generation of a new paradigm of business networking venture.

Moreover, the tension due to lack of harmonization and the balance between the local legislation and labor regulation has extended from the very beginning; conversely, the calamities of social democratic schemes have influenced the growth of crisis in the principle values; therefore, the deficiency of the social democratic model have raised the importance to have a fair employment relationship. Within this course of action, the employee and employer’s relationship has finally twisted the furthermost paradox of modernity that advocates the demand for enhanced autonomy in the employment contracts where the civil law would regulate and settle the privacy contexts of citizens devoid of nuance or substitute, odd discrepancy associated with the legislative reform, and labor conflicts restoration.

The increasing pace of globalization and the boost of information technology have indicated the need to outsource production, and this is the foremost catastrophe to sustain in the existing employee-employer relationship due to the unfair treatment to the outsourced employees, unparallel economic growth among the developing and developed countries, and lack of legislative framework to impose burden on outsourced employers. As a result, the employee and employer’s relation has turned into a vicious circle of heterogeneous approach with normative and protective values that has led to an adjustment in the workplace and generated massive challenges to establish a sustainable employer- employee relation that attempt to accumulate a puzzle to the concurrent labor relations.

The Public Policy Issues and Laws Relating To Employment

While formulating any law, the members of parliament of most of the countries highly focus on the matters of public policy. In addition, when it comes to employment laws, the trend of the members of parliament to depend on the matters of public policies and to consider those at every stage increases to a great degree. It is extremely essential at this stage of the paper to state that the matters of public policy on which most of the legislators feel much interested in include, for example, age, worker abuse, diversity, and so on.

Age is an important public policy ground in legislating employment laws because it is completely unethical to recruit children and old people, and many companies are present who recruit needy old people and encourage child labor due to low labor costs. In addition, one of the most significant public policy grounds is the worker abuse or workplace violence because this is the most alarming problem that employees suffer in small and medium size firms as well as in large multinational firms. As a result, worker abuse or workplace violence always remains the key public policy ground based on which employment laws are formulated.

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On the other hand, ensuring diversity in workplace is also a matter of public policy since national origin, race, ethnicity, color, and religion-based aggravated assaults in workplace create the key concerns of today’s corporate world. As a result, it is highly essential for the leaders of every firm to maintain the highest possible standards in terms of assuring cultural diversity and complying with the employment laws relating to this very strictly. On the other hand, many such firms are present, which are always ready to avert workers who suffer from AIDS and HIV and other disabilities.

These firms are also reluctant to allow workers, who are gay or lesbian (unfair treatment due to sexual orientation controversies) and employees who are women and particularly pregnant. As a result, the members of parliament consider these two public policy grounds in-depth before contemplating the most suitable legislation on this basis. On the other hand, some other public policy grounds for contemplating the most apposite law include, for example, diet and nourishment, healthcare, human and civil rights, poverty and wellbeing, confidentiality policy, welfare and deficiency, and many other important social and corporate issues.

Contemporary labor challenges in political economic development of capitalist democracies

Vliet et al. (2012) pointed out that the contemporary labor market in the global context is the reflection of the political economy of capitalism, where the society has divided into two conflicting classes; in this context, the labor has turned into the most determinant factor for economic development as well as social changes. Labor has turned into a commodity that follows the market norms, supply, and demand rules of commodity market in order to bring market equilibrium; however, the increasing supply of labor generates unemployment and decline in wage.

The trend of the political economy of capitalism illustrated that the rising labor demand would increase wage and the flow of labor would tend to go to market where wage is higher; on the contrary, the stream of capital tends to flow to the labor market where wage demand is very low. The most challenging factor of this system is unemployment that seriously hampers the regular life of the people; moreover, the welfare states urged to provide unemployment benefits across the countries, even though there are challenges for compensation, reward, accommodation, health, and safety.

The most prevalent dilemma arose from the political ideology of Marxism that inspired the workers to understand that they are the vital strength and the capitalists exploit the workers with low wage and other suppression. This ideology tells that the unpaid wage is the profit of the capitalist and they always keep their continuous efforts to maximize their profit by exploiting surplus value that the workers generate. The workers have no right to use the mode of production, as the capitalists are the owner; moreover, in the production industry, although the employers are the minority of the society, workers tolerate their suppression, as they have no means to survive without selling their labor.

Therefore, the leftist ideology inspires to unite the working class in order to fight against the capitalist; even, they aimed to break down the existing state structure and reconstruct a new state under the proletarian dictatorship and this is the major threat for capitalist society.

Economic globalization

The wave of economic globalization has seriously influenced the labor law crossing the border barrier of the geographic location of every country; as a result, the relative study of industrial relations along with labor market and has increased the dimension of labor law areas, although diverse countries have diverged legal system in different arenas. The institutional efforts in the labor market has identified that the accord between the labor law system is strongly interlinked with economic globalization, where the application of an innovative measure to protect the local labor market from foreign and neighboring countries with particular strength is needed to assure that the local labor force is protected.

Consequently, the labor market regulation under diverse legal system has shifted from its conventional approach and aligned with a standard form of facility for the workers and their specific rights. Moreover, the integration of information and communication technology with the economic globalization has generated new crisis in the local labor market by introducing outsourcing service; the organizations of the developing counties stated to outsource labor-intensive production from developing counties. Due to low price of labor, they are interested in outsourcing production, as outsourced labors are not provided with health and safety measures and other different job facilities.

Devising strategies for revitalization

The trade unions introduce various strategies from time to time in order to attempt to revitalize the political accomplishment, which would provide particular significance for labor market (even though collective bargaining along with cooperation is associated with other major unions of a country that confederates all worker associations). The significant factor that interlinked the broader political background along with historical legacies is very essential to explore to understand the strategies of workers union; however, there are tensions between the workers’ union and the regulatory authority in order to generate effectual market dynamics.

The civil societies and labor organizations identified diverse gaps in the area and urged that the effectual strategy could provide enhanced opportunities; moreover, the new worker unions pointed out the necessity to understand the situation of workers, their compensation, and rewards for the employers where the unions engaged further innovative strategies in order to bring organizational success. In order to attain effectual strategy, it is essential to analyze the resource based practice that is strategically prioritized to reduce stress and conflict, providing opportunity for collective bargaining that facilitate the local legal system to integrate chronological improvement of practices in this regard with special emphasis to ensure gender equalities, and anti-discriminatory treatment based on race and ethnicity.


The concept has been actualized in the subsequent portion of this research paper to understand the real picture better:

Activities in the countries to harmonize the international labor laws

According to Freckelton and Selby (2013), in order to harmonize the international labor laws, most of the countries enact new domestic legislation giving effect to the concerned international law. Moreover, Freckelton and Selby (2013) noted that some countries sign international treaties or directives in order to conform to the relevant laws.

Empowering workers in knowledge of labor rights and duties, and worker associations in Mozambique

According to NSPL (2013), in order to empower workers in terms of knowledge of labor rights and duties, more than twenty-one worker associations are present in Mozambique; however these worker associations are divided into two key segments, such as, Organization of Mozambican Workers and Confederation of Free and Independent Trade Unions. MCLI (2013) pointed out that Maputo Corridor Logistics Initiative is another not for profit association that works with stakeholders with the aim to empower workers in terms of knowledge of labor rights and duties.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Worker Associations in Mozambique

Artur (2004) has pointed out that a number of advantages and disadvantages of worker associations are present in the labor market of Mozambique; however, some of the advantages and disadvantages are outlined briefly in the table below:

Worker Associations in Mozambique
Advantages Disadvantages
1) Artur (2004) has pointed out that in Mozambique, worker associations make sure that the workspace is protected; these associations guarantee swift and just resolution and smart classification of the predicaments; additionally, the union representatives aid to lessen mishap rates at employment and make it easier, better, and more effectual for the boss to deal with the workers collectively rather than dealing with them individually 1) According to Artur (2004), a number of disadvantages govern the engagement of workers in worker association; for example, in many cases, human resources do not provide enough efforts in their respective jobs, but impose pressure on the employers by means of the worker association to provide them with better assistance and higher compensation (as the main task of the worker association is to aid HR at all sectors of employment)
2) On the other hand, connecting with worker associations boost up buoyancy within the workforce and afford a scheme for dialogue between human resources and bosses that aids to form self-assurance and compulsion in the workers’ groups, bringing remarkable output benefits for firms; furthermore, distinguishing worker associations also denote that there is a meticulous point of contact for conversing terms and conditions for human resources 2) Another disadvantage of worker association is that a boss can replace the human resources who are protesting easily and lawfully with enduring substitute human resources; however, human resources who are protesting will merely be called back if a job for which they are skilled becomes empty; on the other hand, collective bargaining helps the majority of members of the worker association, but may not meet the precise requirements of several individuals
3) Artur (2004) has identified that worker associations help ensuring sheltered working ambiance lessening hassles associated with physical conditions caused by, for example, wide-ranging functioning time, being anxious or working in disadvantaged environs; in addition, facts point out that links with worker associations make it safer to work on, giving complementary profit for bosses to noticeably lessen the costs of infirmity and catastrophes 3) On the other hand, separate contracts amid the bosses and the human resources are totally not permitted if the HR has joined a worker association because the worker association is the single bargaining intermediary for every member; in addition, the members should compensate the outstanding payments of the worker associations, which could result in a lot of amount annually; simultaneously, the worker association could penalize members who engage in actions such as crossing a picket line at the time of protests

Table 1: Advantages and disadvantages of worker associations in Mozambique.

It is important to state that apart from the above stated problems the labor market of Mozambique also confronts the following pros and cons listed in the table below:

Worker Associations in Mozambique
Advantages Disadvantages
1) There is no doubt that the worker associations of Mozambique will develop workforce preservation of different companies, as worker associations will check with bosses on the behalf of the associates to unearth resolutions to meet business-needs, whilst ensuring that labors are getting just management; as a result, by giving human resources potency and supporting them when they are restless, worker associations extensively increase workforce retention and decline non-attendance 1) Artur (2004) has pointed out that worker association could be annoying for bosses, particularly if their relationship with worker association is not friendly; however, this could cause an antagonistic way of thinking, causing frolicsome complaints or irrational confrontation to administrative decisions, such as regulation or extinction; fundamentally, this feature that is beneficial as human resource is a grave obstruction for managers
2) According to Artur (2004), worker associations of Mozambique aids to take healthier corporate decisions as they possess an extensive observation on subjects affecting organizations and industry responsiveness that could be enormously precious for any firm; additionally, informing and discussing with knowledgeable representatives of worker associations can also aid bosses to welcome apt commercial tactics at the right moment 2) In addition, Artur (2004) has pointed out that if penalizing or eliminating someone is reasonable, his association will give all attempts to stop this; lockouts are also a question of apprehension; however, unlike strikes, lockouts are inadequate for firms that are unionized and they are most of the time instructed by the administrative authority
3) On the other hand, a workplace where there is linkage with worker association, the workforce of will receive some powerful encouragement to continue at work for extensive hours and make them work more engagingly, which would be very much helpful for bosses; moreover, worker associations also back egalitarianism and devotedly thwart grievance and aid to support equal opportunities at workplace making workplaces more striking and dipping bosses’ time used up on tackling accusations 3) The task of the worker’s union is to compel human resources to be in agreement with a recommendation; unsurprisingly, human resources will see this as compulsion, further infuriating a previously stressed and explosive circumstance; in addition, union agreements also make it hard to do essential modifications when commercial environment transform, such as laying off recruits or cutting working hours when turnovers decline

Table 2: Advantages and disadvantages of worker associations in Mozambique.

In addition, some other advantages and disadvantages of worker associations in Mozambique are outlined briefly in the table below:

Worker Associations in Mozambique
Advantages Disadvantages
1) In addition, a number of researchers have pointed out that worker associations lessen the load of audits in the workplaces of Mozambique; moreover, such associations are prearranged to work with bosses to identify and deal with underprivileged working ambiance and non observance with apt principles; conversely, worker associations aid bosses to obtain more payback than conservative audit and social observance schemes, thus lowering reliance on social audit 1) In cases where the upper administration of a company and the representatives of the worker association fail to reach an agreement, strike is a grave apprehension; it is highly essential to remember that non unionized human resources could strike too, but the short of combined bargaining phase could result in this to occur at any occasion; conversely, every worker should come on strike if the mainstream HR vote in support of it; however, this could also lead to severe economic adversity
2) It is very important at this stage to note that in terms of giving access to discover new capabilities, worker associations aid human resources with the access to edification and schooling, and this is the main concern for the worker associations; on the other hand, researchers noted that worker associations have sturdy optimistic outcome on the level and range of teaching that is presented to recruits; simultaneously, better-skilled workforce brings efficiency for bosses 2) According to Artur (2004), in cases where the worker association creates a strike and work inefficiently, it can lead to vanished sells and productivity; as a result, their corporations could go out of trade and be incapable to exploit human resources at all; moreover, it the worker associations become excessively authoritative they can negotiate for superior salaries, even above the rate of inflation; if this happens it may contribute to a universal inflation
3) It is highly essential to note that joining worker association helps to diminish expenses since apt recognition of predicaments at workspace can lead to substantial savings by for example, lessening the expense that bosses deal with owing to catastrophes, ailing health, or worker turnover; it also works with bosses to know competencies and cost savings because both bosses and recruits have a shared interest in corporate achievement 3) Most of the worker association bargain rules, which encourage and defend human resources based on seniority, instead of merit; so, in case of eliminating a worker, the firm will have to focus on the issue that which worker is newly appointed (not on which worker is least productive); moreover, the bosses’ power to control the HR will diminish too, as worker association’s reaction will restrict employer’s choices to deal with human resources who are poor performers

Table 3: Advantages and disadvantages of worker associations in Mozambique.


The concepts of legal systems, labor relations, and regulatory practices are matters of continuous development and modifications; therefore, the organizations need to update themselves constantly according to the changing labor laws to make sure that the labor relations are maintained properly.

Reference List

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