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Lawsuit

1 Jul 2003

Author:
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre

COMILOG lawsuit (re Gabon, filed in Congo)

Status: CLOSED

Date lawsuit was filed
1 Jul 2003
Unknown
Workers
Location of Filing: Congo
Location of Incident: Congo
Type of Litigation: Domestic

Companies

Sources

Snapshot: On 5 September 1991, a train from Gabonese Ougooué Mining Company (COMILOG) transporting manganese from Gabon collided with a passenger train in Congo Brazzaville. More than 100 people died. Following this accident, the company stopped the transport of raw materials by train and filed for bankruptcy. In 2003, COMILOG agreed to give over €1 million to the Congolese Treasury with, in exchange, former workers giving up on their right to judicial remedy. In 2008, more than 800 former COMILOG workers brought a complaint before a French employment tribunal. In 2015, the Court ruled COMILOG should compensate the employees for violating their employment contracts in 1991.

Pour la version française de ce profil, cliquez ici.

Proceedings in Congo

On 5 September 1991, a train from Gabonese Ougooué Mining Company (COMILOG) transporting manganese from Gabon collided with a passenger train in Congo Brazzaville.  More than 100 people died.  Following this accident, the company stopped the transport of raw materials by train and filed for bankruptcy.  COMILOG laid off 955 workers without notice or compensation.  Workers were told that they would receive their severance in instalments over five years, starting in 1993.  However, they claim they never received any severance. 

In July 2003, COMILOG and the Governments of Congo and Gabon reached an agreement regarding the 1991 train accident.  COMILOG agreed to give over €1 million to the Congolese Treasury as compensation for the dismissed workers.  In exchange, the former workers would give up their right to judicial remedy stemming from the dismissal.  The dismissed workers claim that they were not consulted regarding this agreement and that they never received the money.  COMILOG argued that with the agreement, its obligations over the compensation of the former workers had been met. 

For further proceedings in France, see COMILOG lawsuit (re Gabon, filed in France)