24 June, 2022On 22 June, IndustriALL affiliate, the General Federation for Textile Clothing, Leather and Shoes (FGTHCC-UGTT) organized a demonstration in front of the Ministry of Social Affairs in Tunis, calling for the government to raise wages following an agreement made in 2021.
The Tunisian government has been stalling on issuing the annexes of an agreement reached with social stakeholders in the textile and clothing sector, in November 2021 for reasons that are unclear. The annexes are key and needed by business owners to raise wages.
Habib Hazami, the Secretary General of FGTHCC-UGTT, delivered an address during the demonstration stating that the government is halting the issuance of the amendment annexes, although it was not party to the negotiations, but rather a sponsor which makes the agreement official through an article in the Official Gazette. He emphasized that, should the stalling continue, the FGTHCC-UGTT plans to initiate a general sectoral strike, holding the government accountable for the rising tensions.
Several union leaders participated in the demonstration. The UGTT chose a demonstration with the participation of union leaders only as a first step, in order to spare the sector any disruption to production.
Following the demonstration, FGTHCC-UGTT delegation met with Mr. Malek Alzahi, Minister of Social Affairs, who confirmed his understanding of the sectoral demands, and committed to issue the annexes of the agreement on Friday.
This comes just one week after workers in Tunisia’s public sector had a general strike, after negotiations with the government to protect workers from the rising cost of living in the country failed. While this meeting was positive, the FGTHCC-UGTT is ready to take further actions if the government fails to act on Friday.