SEFOPE registers more than 300 cases of labor disputes

SEFOPE registers more than 300 cases of labor disputes

the National Director of Employment Relations (DNRT),Ângelo dos Santos Veloso (Image/special)

DILI, 23 september 2021 (TATOLI) – The State Secretary for Vocational Training and Employment (SEFOPE) had registered more than 300 cases of labor disputes in Timor-Leste during the pandemic.

Ângelo dos Santos Veloso, the National Director of Employment Relations (DNRT) informed that most of the cases (complaints) were filed by workers who had been forced to leave their jobs by their employers.

“Of the 300 labor dispute cases, about 162 cases had been resolved via tripartite negotiation, which was mediated by SEFOPE, while, the other cases were resolved through bipartite social dialogue between the employers and workers,” Veloso made the comments at SEFOPE, in Dili, today.

He said the number of the labor dispute spiked during the Covid-19, due to the lack of goodwill of workers and employers to find solutions for their problem with the bipartite social dialogue, saying, therefore, most of the workers prefer to file their complaints to be resolved by SEFOPE.

“Many employers had been halted their business activities, as a result, they simply can’t’ afford to pay their workers, which left many workers had no choices but to stop working. That’s why the number of the labor dispute increased during the Covid-19,” said Veloso.

On the other hand, Veloso said during the bipartite negotiation, many workers agreed to temporarily stop working with a condition that they will return to work with the same company once the Covid-19 situation is restored.

He said if the labor dispute couldn’t be resolved through tripartite negotiation, then the worker can file a lawsuit against the employers.

‘According to labor law no. 4/2012, the workers have to solve their problem with the employers via bipartite before filing a complaint against their employers. Therefore, both employer and worker have to understand the labor law no. 4/2012,” said Veloso.

Most of the registered cases included employment contracts, dismissing or terminating the contract of employment without justification, and the closure of companies.

At the same place, the President of the Timor-Leste Trade Union Confederations (KSTL), Almeiro Januario V. Gouveia informed that during the Covid-19, KSTL had been supporting more than 300 employees on the labor dispute between workers and employers: “Among these cases, about 99 percent were resolved with bipartite social dialogue.”


Journalist: Filomeno Martins

Editor: Nelia Borges Rosario


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