Tunisia gov't, labor union reach deal on public wages

Tunisia gov't, labor union reach deal on public wages

Draft agreement calls for raising salaries of country’s more than 650,000 civil servants

News Service AA

Tunisia’s largest labor union on Thursday concluded a preliminary deal with the government to increase public-sector salaries.

The draft agreement calls for raising the wages of more than 650,000 civil servants, Tunisia’s total public-sector workforce, a source from the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGGT), told Anadolu Agency.

The source, who preferred anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to media, said the draft agreement would now be referred to the UGGT for approval.

The agreement follows months of negotiations between the UGGT and the government.

Last month, the union threatened to organize a two-day general strike by civil servants on Feb. 20 and 21.

On Jan. 17, thousands of Tunisian civil servants stayed home as part of a general strike organized by the UGGT to demand higher wages.

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 major labor 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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