A joint social pact opening new ways to development of industrial relations in Tunisia was signed on 14 January 2013 at the headquarters of the National Constituent Assembly in Bardo by the head of government of Tunisia, the secretary general of the federation of trade unions, UGTT, and the President of the employers association, UTICA.
The ceremony coincided with the second anniversary of the events that led to the Arab Spring uprisings that started in Tunisia and then spread to the region.
The signing ceremony was also attended by international guests, including the Director General of the International Labour Organization, Guy Ryder, and the Belgian Minister of Labour, Monica De Connick.
The document, which enters into force on the date of its signature, contains five main areas, namely:
- Economic growth and regional development
- Policies of employment and vocational training
- Industrial relations and decent work
- Social welfare
- Institutionalization of tripartite social dialogue
Tahar Berberi, General Secretary of the IndustriALL Tunisia affiliate Fédération Générale de la Métallurgie et de l'Electronique and member of UGTT, commented, “This social pact is an achievement of long months of negotiations and engagement from the side of the government, employers and workers. It is the result of the desire of the three parties to work together and ensure a positive social climate and enable economic recovery in Tunisia, including the prerequisites for the creation of quality jobs in sufficient quantity for the entire Tunisian population, especially youth and women hit hard by the unemployment crisis.”
To promote implementation of the agreement a special national council for dialogue will be set up within one year.
The social contract is a tripartite agreement is likely to strengthen social security and strengthen the dialogue between the parties of production. The pact recognizes trade union pluralism.