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Tunisia: General Labour Union threatens public sector strike

Protesters gather in front of The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) building to protest demanding a raise in their wage and enhance their social rights in Tunis, Tunisia on June 16, 2022 [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
Protesters gather in front of The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) building to protest demanding a raise in their wage and enhance their social rights in Tunis, Tunisia on June 16, 2022 [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]

The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) yesterday threatened to arrange a strike in order to improve member social benefits, the secretary-general said.

Noureddine Taboubi said the UGTT will launch "another general strike in the public sector and the public positions to demand social benefits, but we have not determined the date yet."

"After the last strike on 16 June, we did not find anyone who would listen to us," he said, adding that the union's hands "are always stretched out for dialogue."

"The government did not act to respond to the high prices and the loss of some medicines … and it must bear its full responsibilities in this regard."

On June 16, the UGTT carried out a strike in the public sector throughout Tunisia to demand an improvement in social conditions.

READ: Int'l judges association calls on Tunisia president to return to rule of law

Tunisian authorities did not issue an immediate comment.

The country is suffering an economic and financial crisis that has been exacerbated due to the repercussions of the coronavirus pandemic and the Russian war in Ukraine.

It is also experiencing a severe political crisis since 25 July 2021 when President Kais Saied imposed exceptional measures including dismissing the government and taking over executive power, dissolving the Supreme Judicial Council and parliament, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, and holding a referendum on a new constitution.

Critics believe the new constitution further tighten Saied's grip on power and return the country to autocratic rule. They consider his measures to be a "coup against the revolution" which ended the rule of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

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