Who: CNV Internationaal, hospital workers
Where: Benin
Sector: Healthcare
What: Negotiations, consultations, social dialogue training
When: not available

In the hospitals in the West African country of Benin, strikes were an everyday occurrence. It was the hospital employees’ way of making their desire for better working conditions known. The strikes were not particularly successful.

Ultimately, the success factor turned out to be social dialogue training. Trade union partner COSI engaged CNV Internationaal to do this, and CNV manager Suzanne Kruizinga travelled to Benin to teach the trade union negotiators the skills to successfully negotiate, consult, and exchange information. She taught them to get people to start thinking about things by asking them rather than by judging them. “Showing the people you talk to that you see them as real people who are trying to help others, and showing them that you understand them is the key to being able to properly talk to acht other”, according to Suzanne Kruizinga. After the training, the trade union negotiators initiated a constructive dialogue with the government and the employers, which eventually put an end to the strikes.



CNV Internationaal. (2017). The Value of Social Dialogue (pp. 1-40). Utrecht: CNV Internationaal.