New wave of unrest in Tunisia

14.02.2013

After the assassination of Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaïd on 6 February, a general strike was called by the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT).

Led by the UGTT, tens of thousands of protesters gathered on 7 February in Tunis to mourn the death of opposition leader Chokri Belaïd. The General strike brought the city to a close.
 
Assassinated on 6 February as he was leaving his home, Chokri Belaïd was a vocal critic of the Ben Ali regime, a leftist opposition leader, trade unionist and lawyer. The UGTT has urged the authorities to fully investigate this crime and ensure that the person responsible is brought to justice.
 
“Over a million people participated in the demonstration following our confederation’s call for a general strike,” said Tahar Berberi, General Secretary of the Metal and Electronics Federation of UGTT, an affiliate of IndustriALL Global Union. “The political situation in Tunisia is very difficult right now especially with the statement by government that it will form a new administration of non-political technocrats,” he continued.
 
The central objective of the general strike called by the UGTT is to ensure that Tunisia’s transition to democracy takes place peacefully. With unemployment reaching alarming rates in Tunisia and only several months away from the deadline set to reach a new constitution and a date for elections, this tragedy has plunged the country into shock.
 
“IndustriALL Global Union extends its full support to the UGTT.  They have been a central player in the move towards full democracy and social justice in Tunisia,” said IndustriALL General Secretary Jyrki Raina.