Labor union in Tunisia resists the IMF

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied tried to stop the general strike, but 95% of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) membership walked out June 16. This led to closed airports, public transport, ports and government offices. The UGTT has about 3 million members.

General strike in Tunisia, June 16. Credit: UGTT

Tunisia’s tourist trade — a large part of its economy — was devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to the war in the Ukraine, the price paid for flour and wheat, to make the bread that’s an essential part of the Tunisians’ diet, has doubled and tripled.

Since Saied suspended the country’s parliament nearly a year ago, he has made concessions demanded by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — cutting subsidies and wages.

The UGTT disagreed — and backed up its “No” with boots on the concrete.

“We are still trying to find a compromise with the government,” Hedia Arfaoui, UGTT’s deputy secretary-general in charge of external relations, said at the main rally in Tunis. He suggested that some less painful economic reforms might be possible. (, June 16)

The day before the strike, the UGTT explained that workers would “hold this strike to defend their economic and social rights, after the dithering of the government in the face of their legitimate demands.”

The union denounced the worsening social situation of workers in all categories “in light of low wages, rising prices [and] the deterioration of purchasing power.”

G. Dunkel

Published by
G. Dunkel

Recent Posts

Hail Indigenous Peoples Day – Support Workers World 

Boston’s proclamation last year that the second Monday of October every year would be Indigenous…

September 23, 2022

Pennsylvania DOC reclassifies Latinx incarcerated workers as ‘white’ 

By  Bryant Arroyo and Betsey Piette In late August, environmental justice advocate and Puerto Rican…

September 23, 2022

Railroad contracts: Biden, Walsh thwart use of strike weapon

As the deadline for a national railroad strike loomed, President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary…

September 23, 2022

Saladin Muhammad: a life dedicated to organizing Southern Black workers − a WW commentary

Saladin Muhammad, a revolutionary Black union organizer and propagandist, died on Sept. 19 in Rocky…

September 22, 2022