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Moroccan Union Movement Initiate Historic Unity

6 February, 2014The three Moroccan national trade union centers, UMT, CDT and FDT, took an historic initiative towards unity through a meeting at the end of January over discussions for economic, social and political situation in the country.

This significant historic step reflects the collective will to unify the trade union movement of Morocco in order to challenge the government’s anti-democratic policies as well as contributing to building a society of freedom, democracy and social justice.

The three organizations have signed a joint statement condemning: the abuse of union freedoms; factory closures; layoffs; and the arrest and prosecution of officials and trade union activists under Chapter 288 of the Criminal Code. The statement also addressed the government measures on passing unfair financial laws against the interest of the working class, absence of social dialogue and collective bargaining, and ignoring unions while insisting on passing the draft strike Law.

The signatory organizations have agreed to continue the joint work as a strategic choice; hold the government responsible for disabling social dialogue, collective bargaining and deterioration of social conditions; demand that the government adopt serious dialogue and binding collective bargaining agreements. The national centers also called on the government to withdraw all the bills associated with the issues of the workers such as retirement, right to strike, and a retreat from the critical unpopular decisions, and confirmed the determination to take all necessary initiatives and resolutions of struggle by calling all Moroccan workers for mobilization to confront the attacks against freedoms and rights.

Abdelmajid Matoual, Executive Committee Member of IndustriALL Global Union and Member of the Administrative Committee of UMT said: "Such initiative is historic act towards unifying the union work in Morocco to defend the rights and gains of the working class. The meeting comes at a time of social congestion due to the government’s unpopular decisions that led to the fall of citizens' purchasing power and violations of workers' and unions' rights and gains".

Mohamed Zeroual, Member of the UMT National Secretariat commented: "The meeting aimed at pushing the government to bear its responsibility to pull out all the bills that limit workers' rights as well as the unpopular decisions which negatively affect the purchasing power of the general masses of the people and to accelerate starting a serious dialogue on retirement, rights and freedoms of association and the subsidies fund ".

Mohamed Elharif, General Secretary of National Union of Metal, Mechanical, Electrical and Electronic Workers (SNTIMMEE-CDT) and Member of the CDT National Council said: "The current government has ignored the signed agreements of last year between unions and the former government. The three national centers will continue to discuss, in light of the government response to our concerns, the future actions of struggle to achieve our workers' demands".

“This unity initiative is promising and encouraging” said Kemal Özkan, Assistant General Secretary of IndustriALL Global Union.

This is what the union movement in the MENA region needs to do. IndustriALL gives full support to this exemplary initiative.