The Tunisian government appears to be on the verge of falling into a political crisis with the General Labour Union over a divergence of views about the recent cabinet change and some of the union's demands.
According to the secretary general of the Secondary Education Union in Tunisia, it will consider on Thursday the possibility of suspending classes indefinitely. "There are no positive signs encouraging the union to calm down or decide not to escalate the situation," Saad Al-Yacoubi told Radio Shems FM in Tunis.
The union is demanding the resignation of Education Minister Neji Jalloul, a move which is rejected by Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, despite a protest by secondary school teachers in the capital on Wednesday. The teachers believe that the minister is "difficult" to work with.
Abdellatif Mekki of the leading Ennahda Movement told Quds Press that dialogue between the government and the trade union is the shortest and best way to overcome these differences. He ruled out the possibility of a confrontation between the government and the Labour Union.
"I do not think there is anyone who seeks confrontation between the Union and the government," he explained, "but there are real differences and I believe that we must expand dialogue to reach a consensus."