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Moroccan unions launch “Month of Anger”

10 January, 2019Unions will hold a series of protest and strike actions across the country until the government meets its social dialogue commitments.

The Moroccan union federations Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT) and the Union Marocaine du Travail (UMT) have suspended all social dialogue and launched campaigns to force the government to respect trade union rights. Both federations have a number of unions which are affiliated to IndustriALL.

The UMT will hold a series of protests, including marches, strikes and demonstrations, from 10-20 January, while the CDT plans a protest and motor vehicle convoy to the city of Tangier on 11 January.

The key demand is for the government to institutionalize tripartite social dialogue, respect trade union rights and comply with ILO Conventions, as agreed with the unions on 26 April 2011. Despite the agreement, trade union rights are frequently violated in Morocco.

Unions are also angered by numerous social problems that the government has failed to address, including high living costs, the deterioration of the social services, the lack of opportunities for young people, the violation of the pensioners’ rights, and a huge increase in the unemployment rate.

Unions are restricted in their attempts to defend workers by widespread violations of workers’ and union rights by employers, which are disregarded by the authorities. In a number of cases, leaders of unions affiliated to IndustriALL have been dismissed for union activity. For instance, multinational auto components companies APTIV (formerly Delphi), YAZAKI and SEBN-MA dismissed dozens of members and leaders of a CDT and UMT-affiliated unions in recent months.

CDT vice general secretary Khaled Alami Haouair said:

“We face a social crisis characterized by the deterioration of purchasing power, the violation of trade union freedoms and social gains. The CDT will continue its struggle until the government agrees to tripartite social dialogue that meets ILO standards.”

Speaking for the UMT, Abdelmajid Matoual said:

“The secretary general of our federation has commented on the economic and social situation marked by the rise in the cost of living, the degradation of socio-economic services and the government's offer which is below the expectations of the working class.

“On December 27 the UMT national council supported the secretary general's decision to postpone negotiations until the government makes proposals that meet workers' expectations, and declares 10-20 January as days of protests and militancy in all forms, including strikes and demonstrations, against violations of trade union freedoms.”

IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches sent letters of solidarity to both federations.

The key union demands are:

  1. Respect for freedom of association
  2. Application of the agreement of 26 April 2011
  3. A 600 Dirham (US$63) increase in civil servant salaries
  4. A 10 per cent increase in the minimum wage
  5. Increased family allowances
  6. Lower taxation, and no tax on pensions
  7. Institutionalized tripartite social dialogue
  8. The cancellation of dismissals of union members, and legal cases against union officials