Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) transport workers strike, 2010


That the price of fuel (645 CFA francs/L) be reduced by 100 CFA francs

Time period

April 12, 2010 to April 16, 2010


Ivory Coast

Location City/State/Province

Mostly in Abidjan and San Pedro
Jump to case narrative


The National Crisis Committee, representing transport labor unions (Leader Losseni Diabate)


Many Ivoirian transport unions – taxi, bus, and truck

External allies

Cocoa industry figures and foreign investors

Involvement of social elites

Not Known


The government of Cote d’Ivoire

Nonviolent responses of opponent

Not Known

Campaigner violence

Not Known

Repressive Violence

Not Known


Economic Justice



Group characterization

bus drivers
taxi drivers
truck drivers

Additional notes on joining/exiting order

Different groups joined throughout the campaign (truck drivers being the most gradually joining group). However, exact joining order is not known

Segment Length

Approximately 5/6 days

Success in achieving specific demands/goals

6 out of 6 points


1 out of 1 points


3 out of 3 points

Total points

10 out of 10 points

Notes on outcomes

The strike ended as the government lowered the diesel price by 100 CFA francs/L.

The union survived through the campaign.

in the beginning, taxi and bus drivers made up most of the strikers. By the end, a huge part of truck drivers joined the strike in solidarity, and this posed a concern for the cocoa industry and foreign investors, pressuring the government to comply with the strikers’ demands.

Database Narrative

The Republic of Côte d’Ivoire, commonly known in English as Ivory Coast, is a Francophone West African county that plays a key role in transit trade for neighboring landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.

Since the beginning of 2010, the Ivorian government increased diesel prices twice to 645 CFA francs ($1.34) per liter. This raise set Côte d’Ivoire as the highest fuel price in Francophone West Africa.

On Monday, April 12, 2010, the transport union declared the beginning of an indefinite transport strike. The transport unions demanded the government cut the diesel and petrol prices by 100 CFA francs from its 645 CFA francs. Taxi and “woro woro” (communal taxi) owners parked their taxis at their homes and parking lots. Bus drivers occupied parking lots, grounding their vehicles. Truck drivers joined more gradually in solidarity of the strike.

In response, the Ministry of Energy Augustin Komoe proposed a reduction of 15 CFA francs to end the strike, but the trade unions did not accept it, and again demanded the reduction of 100 CFA francs. Marius Comoe, president of the Association for Consumers, said, “The high price of fuel is making life unbearably expensive for Ivoirians. We are willing to remain on strike until the government reduces the cost of fuel because the alternative is to continue with the unbearably high prices.”

While the government did not propose a more probable compromise, the halting of taxis, buses, and trucks posed a serious threat to other Ivoirian industries, particularly the cocoa industry. Côte d’Ivoire is the world’s largest producer of cocoa beans, accounting for 35 percent of global cocoa output in 2009. The lack of public transportation—buses and taxis—prevented workers from going to work. The Abidjan Transport Society (SOTRA), a government-owned public transportation organization, was the only company offering transportation. Other industry workers waited for the SOTRA busses at transit stations for hours. Even when the workers managed to get to work at the cocoa port, the striking truck drivers had already parked their trucks in a blockade, blocking the filling stations. This prohibited the workers from offloading the cocoa and other goods.

Cocoa farmers could not send the cocoa from the interior because the majority did not own their own trucks or other modes of transportation. Furthermore, ferry goods to neighboring landlocked countries all became stationary. International media such as Reuters and BBC broadcasted concerns for the impact of the strike on the industry and price increase of basic goods. Toward the end of the week, many more transportation unions, especially truck drivers, had joined the strike, creating more barricades and halting many other industries.

On Friday, April 16, the transporters called off the strike when the government cut the price of diesel. Strike leader Losseni Diabate announced that they were “satisfied.” 


Nam News Network. “Ivory Coast Transporters End Strike: Union.” April 19, 2010. <http://abidjan.usembassy.gov/april2010.html.>

Reuters. “UPDATE 2-Trucks keep rolling despite Ivorian transport strike.” April 15, 2010. <http://uk.reuters.com/article/idUKLDE63E1Z120100415.>

Handy Shipping Guide. “No End In Site As Truck Drivers Strike In Ivory Coast Continues.” April 16, 2010. <http://www.handyshippingguide.com/shipping-news/no-end-in-site-as-truck-drivers-strike-in-ivory-coast-continues_1586.>

Additional Notes

Côte d’Ivoire is the largest cocoa producing country in the world. It also plays a key role in transit trade for neighboring landlocked countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger. International concern about the cocoa industry and price increases of goods influenced the government’s decision to decrease the price of diesel.

Edited by Max Rennebohm (19/05/2011)

Name of researcher, and date dd/mm/yyyy

Jeewon Kim, 06/12/2010