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Tunisia: Bakeries strike, demand gov't pay their dues

Men work in a bakery at a market, on March 17, 2022 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
Men work in a bakery at a market, on March 17, 2022 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Thousands of bakeries in Tunisia closed their doors yesterday as part of a general strike to demand the government pay their dues in the context of subsidising the baking industry.

The head of the National Chamber of Bakery Owners, Mohamed Bouanane, announced that 90 per cent of more than 3,100 bakeries joined the strike to demand the payment of financial dues for 14 months, estimated at 260 million dinars ($81 million).

"We will continue the strike because we did not receive any positive response from the government," Bouanane said.

The trade union official added that the government proposed to gradually pay the dues starting from January 2023.

The National Chamber of Bakery Owners carried out a similar strike at the end of October. It was suspended after the government agreed to pay financial assistance to bakeries for four months. However this has not been implemented, Bouanane said.

"We are no longer able to continue working, we are unable to pay our workers' wages and all our revenues. The government must pay us," he added.

Tunisia is experiencing a deep financial crisis which has caused frequent shortages of basic products such as sugar, milk and rice, coinciding with an accelerating inflation rate of 9.8 per cent, according to official figures issued in early December.

READ: Libya to pay outstanding debts to Tunisia

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