Nicaragua Table of Contents
All public- and private-sector workers, except the military and the police, are entitled to join a union. The estimate of the number of workers in unions varies considerably, but some labor leaders place the number as high as 50 percent. Unions are required to register with the Ministry of Labor and must be granted legal status before they can bargain collectively; however, some labor groups complain of intentional delays in this legalization process. Unions are allowed to freely associate with each other or with international labor organizations.
The country's two largest unions, the Sandinista Workers' Federation (Central Sandinista de Trabajadores--CST) and the Association of Agricultural Workers (Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo--ATC), are associated with the Sandinista political party and are also a part of the umbrella group for all Sandinista unions, the National Workers' Front (Frente Nacional de Trabajadores--FNT). Three smaller unions, the General Confederation of Workers--Independent (Confederación General de Trabajadores Independiente--CGT-I), the Federation for Trade Union Action and Unity (Central de Acción y Unidad Sindical-- CAUS), and the Workers' Front (Frente Obrero--FO), are affiliated with leftist political parties. The Social Christian Workers' Front (Frente de Trabajadores Socialcristianos--FTS) has ties with the Nicaraguan Social Christian Party (Partido Social Cristiano Nicaragüense--PSCN). Workers in various sectors of the economy, including health care, transportation, coffee, livestock, and agriculture, have their own unions.
Data as of December 1993