China Communication Construction Company lawsuit (re HIV/AIDS discrimination, Uganda)

On 3 May 2017, two former Ugandan employees of China Communication Construction Company (CCCC) filed a lawsuit in the High Court of Uganda against the company for unfair dismissal. They claim they were dismissed for being HIV positive. CCCC denies the allegations.

The plaintiffs allege that CCCC told them to take a HIV test or face losing their job. When the test came back positive – both are also suing for infringement of their right to privacy because the clinic shared their test results with the company, not them – the first plaintiff claims he had to sign a resignation letter and the other one that she was fired. CCCC denies forcing employees to undertake medical check-ups. It said that the company offers “free, voluntary HIV tests” for the health benefit of employees and not to determine their employment.

The plaintiffs seek damages in the amount of 400 million Ugandan Shillings ($110,000), plus interest and legal costs, as compensation for the abuses they have suffered.

They tried to reach an out-of-court settlement with the company but there was no agreement. On 16 August 2017, the High Court of Uganda heard the case.

- Chinese Company Fires HIV-Positive Workers, Robert I. Rotberg, Harvard Kennedy, on China-US Focus, 1 Aug 2017
- Ugandans take Chinese firm to court in latest HIV workplace battle, Amy Fallon, Thomas Reuters Foundation, 26 Jul 2017

Taslaf Advocates (Counsel for the plaintiffs)
- Annet Namuyomba Mukisa & George William Kato v. China Communication Construction Company Ltd – Plaint before the High Court of Uganda, 3 May 2017

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+ 简体中文 - Hide

Author: 文山、苗子,德国之声


中国交建股份公司是全球最大的基础设施建造商之一... 在法庭的案卷中,中国交建方面称,没有任何员工曾受到逼迫去进行体检,"若这两名原告确实进行过体检,其结果并不会用于决定他们的雇佣关系,而仅作他们自己的健康之用。"中国交建的律师团队以及乌干达全国道路交通局的发言人拒绝对此案进行置评,并强调此案尚在法庭审理过程中。中国交建乌干达行政主管郝运峰(音)则通过电子邮件回复路透社问询称,公司为员工提供免费、自愿的HIV体检...中国交建方面则称,解雇艾伦的原因是:后者因工作绩效不佳被警告后,就不再来上班了。

两名原告还指控为他们体检的医院侵犯隐私权,指责其没有将体检报告寄给本人、而是寄给了雇主... 此案凸显了乌干达政府工程承包商"肆意侵犯人权的行为"...2014年,乌干达议会还通过一部法案,蓄意传播艾滋病的行为将被追究刑事责任。

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Author: 文山、苗子,德國之聲


中國交建股份公司是全球最大的基礎設施建造商之一... 在法庭的案卷中,中國交建方面稱,沒有任何員工曾受到逼迫去進行體檢,"若這兩名原告確實進行過體檢,其結果並不會用於決定他們的僱傭關係,而僅作他們自己的健康之用。"中國交建的律師團隊以及烏干達全國道路交通局的發言人拒絕對此案進行置評,並強調此案尚在法庭審理過程中。中國交建烏干達行政主管郝運峰(音)則通過電子郵件回复路透社問詢稱,公司為員工提供免費、自願的HIV體檢... 中國交建方面則稱,解僱艾倫的原因是:後者因工作績效不佳被警告後,就不再來上班了。

兩名原告還指控為他們體檢的醫院侵犯隱私權,指責其沒有將體檢報告寄給本人、而是寄給了雇主... 此案凸顯了烏干達政府工程承包商"肆意侵犯人權的行為". .. 2014年,烏干達議會還通過一部法案,蓄意傳播艾滋病的行為將被追究刑事責任。

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1 August 2017

Chinese Company Fires HIV-Positive Workers

Author: Robert I. Rotberg, ChinaUSFocus (US)

One of China’s largest and most powerful construction companies, with operations all over Africa…insists that its workers be tested for HIV and then…fires those whose results affirm their HIV status…Whether China Communications imposes similar conditions of employment elsewhere in Africa is not known.

Uganda’s High Court will hear the case on August 16…An effort to reach an out-of-court settlement failed.

The Ugandan lawyer for the plaintiffs asserts that their case exposes “glaring human rights violations that are perpetrated unabated” by Ugandan government contractors.

…The Court’s deliberations will presumably reflect a 2014 vote in Parliament that “criminalized” the purposeful transmission of HIV-AIDS…In general, discrimination because of a medical condition may not be inherently illegal in Uganda. 

In the one HIV-related case that has been decided by the High Court, it dismissed the claim of a kitchen worker for China’s Sinohydro Corporation that she had been unfairly transferred from one department to another solely because she was HIV-positive…

Ugandan authorities have not taken any action in the latest case, possibly because of their reluctance to displease a large and influential firm such as China Communications…

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27 July 2017

Uganda: Two former employees sue China Communications Construction for HIV/AIDS discrimination

Author: Amy Fallon, Thomas Reuters Foundation

"Ugandans take Chinese firm to court in latest HIV workplace battle"

When Kato was called into his manager's office, the Ugandan driver assumed he would be sent on an errand, not be ordered to take an HIV test and lose his job when it came back positive, leading him to sue his Chinese employer for unfair dismissal. Kato, 45, is one of two HIV-positive workers who went to court in June to demand compensation from their former employer, China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), in Uganda's second high-profile AIDS discrimination case in two years."(My manager) said: 'If you don't go for this test, you'll be fired'," said Kato, a father of three who declined to give his full name for fear of stigma. "We had to go along with it because we were afraid of losing our jobs," he said, describing how half a dozen employees were ferried to a clinic in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, to have their blood tested.

Uganda's high court will hear the case on Aug. 16, in which the two plaintiffs are asking for 400 million Uganda shillings ($110,000) in compensation, after efforts to reach an out-of-court settlement failed. The day after his results came back in March 2016, Kato said, his manager asked him to sign a resignation letter. CCCC, one of the world's largest businesses with a focus on infrastructure projects, denied the allegations. "No employee has ever been coerced to take a medical check-up," it said in court documents. "Medical check-ups undertaken by the plaintiffs, if at all, were not calculated to determine their employment, but for their own health benefit." A lawyer for CCCC, which has three major road contracts with Uganda's government, and a spokesman for the Uganda National Roads Authority declined to comment as the case is in court.


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3 May 2017

Plaint in the case of Annet Namuyomba Mukisa & George William Kato v China Communication Construction Company Ltd

Author: Taslaf Advocates

[Full text of the complaint]

Download the full document here