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Tunisia labor union plans general strike next month

TGLU says the general strike comes after talks with gov't regarding higher wages deadlocked

  | 19.01.2019
Tunisia labor union plans general strike next month

By Oulfa al-Gharbi

HAMMAMET, Tunisia

Tunisia’s largest labor union has announced a two-day general strike for public-sector employees on Feb. 20.

“The general strike is a necessity,” Noureddine Taboubi, the head of the Tunisian General Labor Union (TGLU), said in statements after a union meeting in the eastern city of Hammamet on Saturday.

He said the strike comes “after dialogue and negotiations with the government regarding a pay raise for public-sector employees were deadlocked”.

On Thursday, thousands of Tunisian civil servants stayed home as part of a general strike called by TGLU to demand higher wages.

Last November, the union organized a similar strike to demand higher wages for members of Tunisia’s roughly 650,000-strong public workforce.

That strike, however, failed to persuade the government to meet longstanding demands for higher public-sector salaries.

Since Tunisia’s popular uprising in 2011, the country has weathered at least three general strikes to protest deteriorating economic conditions.

Tunisia was the birthplace of the "Arab Spring" uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa in early 2011.

Tunisia’s popular uprising forced its authoritarian ruler, Zein Al Abidine Ben Ali, to step down -- and eventually leave the country -- after almost 25 years in power.

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