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Tunisia's labor union rejects IMF conditions for economic reform

June 11, 2022 at 4:53 pm

A man retrieves newly circulating Tunisian bank notes from an ATM in the capital Tunis, on March 27, 2020 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Tunisia’s powerful labor union on Saturday reiterated its rejection of conditions proposed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for reforming the country’s economic sectors, Anadolu Agency reports.

“We will not accept the painful and harmful conditions imposed by IMF on our country,” Noureddine Taboubi, secretary-general of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT), said in a speech in the capital Tunis.

Tunisia faces its worst financial crisis and is seeking a $4 billion loan from IMF.

The IMF has asked the Tunisian government to cut subsidies on basic food commodities and services and to regulate the payroll of public employees.

“UGTT does not reject dialogue with the government, but the labor union will not accept participation in any farce dialogue,” Taboubi said.

UGTT plans to stage a general strike on June 16 in protest of the government’s refusal to increase wages.

The UGTT, which has more than a million members, calls for wage increases for state workers as inflation reached a record level of 7.5% in April, from 7.2 per cent in March and 7 per cent in February.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis since July 25, 2021, when President Kais Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority, in a move decried by opponents as a “coup.” He later dissolved the parliament in March after lawmakers held a session to revoke his measures.

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