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Airbus refuses to respect workers' rights in Tunisia

2 May, 2013In Fouchana, a suburb of Tunis, the female workers of Latélec, a subsidiary of French Group Latécoère, which is a sub-contractor for Airbus, demand that their trade union rights be respected. As a result the company threatens to leave the country.

On 29 April, IndustriALL affiliate the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), representing the workers of Latélec, demonstrated in front of the French Embassy in Tunis to demand the respect of trade union rights at Latélec.

On 15 April, five workers were dismissed illegally; three of them were active union representatives. "We want to keep our work without losing our dignity," said Sonia Jebali Secretary General of the UGTT company union at SEA Latelec Fouchana.

SEA Latélec relocated part of the production from France to Fouchana in the suburbs of Tunis in 2005. Since 2010, the workers got organized and ever since have been exposed to systematic anti-union repression including layoffs, attempted bribery, insults, abusive sanctions, isolation, sexist remarks and death threats.

When the workers refused to bow their heads, the French managers imposed a lockout for a month in September 2012 and the temporary transfer of production to France. 200 temporary jobs were lost between October 2012 and April 2013 and 200 more will be made before the end of the year.

The company now threatens to leave Tunisia as it refuses to obey Tunisian labour laws and to allow any trade union activity in the plant.