Ouagadougou Labour Court, Compaore v. Sitarail, 25 March 2003, No. 037

Constitution of Burkina Faso

Article 151

Treaties or agreements which have been duly ratified or adopted shall upon their publication have a higher authority than the laws, provided that each agreement or treaty is applied by the other party.

Burkina Faso
Equal remuneration , Protection against discrimination in employment and occupation
Role of International Law:
Reference to international law to strengthen a decision based on domestic law
Type of instruments used:

Ratified treaty1

Discrimination based on nationality/ Wrongful dismissal/ Employment record/ Discrimination between national and foreign workers/ Reference to international law to strengthen a decision based on domestic law

An employee of the Sitarail railway company had been given three successive assignments with the result that his salary was substantially reduced. He refused the third assignment and was dismissed. After ruling that the dismissal was unfair, the Ouagadougou Labour Court addressed the compensation to be awarded to the worker, which necessitated drawing up the plaintiff’s employment record, and thereby realized that there was a pay differential between Burkina Faso employees and foreign employees.

After pointing out that this difference in treatment was inconsistent with the collective agreement applicable to undertakings and with national legislation prohibiting discrimination, the Ouagadougou Labour Court referred to ILO Convention No. 111 to strengthen its ruling:

"Given that the Sitarail railway company clearly misjudged the spirit of the instruments, that it established discrimination between workers of two different nationalities whereas there is no provision establishing such procedure, let alone imposing it, given that, in addition, ILO Convention No. 111 requires the States which have ratified it to prohibit all forms of discrimination in employment and vocational training, and given that Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire are bound by that Convention, by subjecting workers with the same occupational skills to different treatment Sitarail is deliberately violating the spirit and the content of Convention No. 111.”

Considering that the company Sitarail had violated national law and, in addition, ILO Convention No. 111, the Ouagadougou Labour Court ordered the company to pay the difference in remuneration to the worker concerned.

Full text of the decision