Tunisian commerce union organizes huge strike in defiance of President Stated

Flights had been canceled, public transport grounded and authorities workplaces closed in a nationwide strike organized by Tunisia’s fundamental commerce union confederation Thursday, including to strain on a president already going through a sequence of crises.

The highly effective Tunisian Common Labor Union has referred to as for as much as three million public sector staff to go on strike, halting work at 159 authorities companies and public corporations to demand wage concessions and threatening reforms.

This motion seems to have been broadly noticed within the capital, Tunis, the place put up workplaces and public utilities had been closed.

The police had been current in massive numbers exterior the UGTT headquarters because the strikers started to assemble for a rally.

Public tv aired repetitions and broadcast an announcement that staff would take part within the strike.

On the capital’s fundamental airport, check-in desks had been empty, and pissed off passengers stared at screens exhibiting rows of canceled flights.

“This strike is the fruits of the collective failure of greater than 10 Tunisian governments, the Tunisian Common Labor Union, the Worldwide Financial Fund and Tunisia’s worldwide companions” to restructure the economic system, stated Tunisian economist Fadel Kaboub.

“It would function a reminder to the Worldwide Financial Fund that staff in Tunisia can solely afford a lot financial ache.”

Right now, a nationwide 24-hour public sector strike started in Tunisia, referred to as by the Tunisian Common Labor Union (UGTT) in gentle of “low wages and deteriorating buying energy”. The strike is anticipated to incorporate 159 authorities corporations, together with nationwide airways and public transportation. pic.twitter.com/lcgT4x43j4

– Francesca Ebel (FrancescaEbel) June 16, 2022 The strike comes as Tunisia prepares to enter formal talks with the Worldwide Financial Fund over a brand new rescue plan for its debt-laden economic system.

Tunisians face rising inflation and the Tunisian Common Labor Union has referred to as for a brand new deal to extend public sector salaries, together with retroactively final 12 months.

Whereas opponents of the UGTT say it’s ignoring the nation’s deep monetary issues, its affect has been bolstered by the Worldwide Financial Fund that made the rescue deal conditional on commerce union help.

The federal government has launched a reform plan for the worldwide lender that features freezing the general public sector wage invoice, gradual discount of some subsidies, and restructuring of publicly owned corporations.

However the Tunisian Common Labor Union, which has warned of “painful reforms” aimed toward pleasing the Worldwide Financial Fund, has demanded ensures that public sector corporations, together with some monopolies, will stay publicly owned.

The Tunisian Common Labor Union stated on Wednesday that its strike goals to defend staff’ financial and social rights after “the federal government’s reluctance to confront their respectable calls for”.

Labor Minister Nasr El-Din Nusebi stated the federal government reserves the proper to require some staff to permit important providers to run.

And whereas the UGTT insists the strike isn’t political, it comes as President Kais Saied faces heavy criticism for excluding opposition forces from his “nationwide dialogue” – as a part of a drive to reform the Tunisian state and consolidate its ongoing energy seize.

The president sacked the federal government and suspended parliament elected in July final 12 months, earlier than dissolving the legislature in March and dismissing dozens of judges by decree earlier this month.

The Tunisian Common Labor Union was invited to take part within the nationwide dialogue, however it refused on the grounds that the principle political forces weren’t. He additionally argued that the method was supposed to maneuver ahead with “conclusions determined unilaterally prematurely”.

The Tunisian Common Labor Union, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate for its efforts in a earlier nationwide dialogue within the wake of Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, had initially backed Stated when he sacked the federal government and suspended parliament.

However it has grow to be more and more essential as Stated expands his grip on energy, which a few of his opponents describe as a coup in the one democracy that emerged from the Arab uprisings in 2011.

Kabob stated democratization has failed to attain key financial reforms equivalent to strengthening meals and power sovereignty and investing in excessive value-added industries.

“It’s time for the Worldwide Financial Fund, the Tunisian authorities and the Tunisian Common Labor Union to formulate an alternate imaginative and prescient for Tunisia’s financial growth,” he stated.


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