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Tunisia General Labour Union warns of strikes in 80% of sectors

Protesters gather upon calling of Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) to stage a demonstration demanding that the ministries fulfill their reform promises for the region in Kairouan, Tunis on 3 December 2020. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
Protesters gather upon calling of Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) to stage a demonstration demanding that the ministries fulfill their reform promises for the region in Kairouan, Tunis on 3 December 2020. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]

The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) yesterday warned that strikes in the country would escalate to include "more than 80 per cent [of sectors] in the absence of social dialogue", Anadolu news agency reported.

Assistant Secretary-General and spokesperson for the UGTT, Sami Tahiri, said in remarks to local Shems FM: "We are ahead of a tense social climate and we will reach more than 80 per cent of the strikes… after Najla Bouden's government had set conditions for negotiations with the unions, which led to disrupting dialogue with several sectors."

Tahiri explained that "a number of sectors entered random strikes, due to the disruption of social dialogue."

"All the negotiating sessions that took place in the Ministry of Social Affairs have failed," he added.

On 9 December, the government issued a directive requiring state institutions to obtain prior permission from the prime minister before negotiating with unions, which led the UGTT to call for strikes.

On Tuesday, the prime minister said the directive aimed to "coordinate between ministries, institutions and government establishments on the one hand, and the government on the other" and not to stop union's from operating, which is guaranteed by law.

READ: UN rights body concerned about human rights in Tunisia

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