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Union win in Tunisia

3 December, 202024 out of the 56 workers dismissed in February at Tunisian garment factory Gartex have been reinstated, following IndustriALL’s intervention which led to dialogue between the employer and the union Fédération Générale du Textile, de l'Habillement, Chaussure et Cuir - FGTHCC-UGTT.

The 56 workers, including the elected leadership of the company union and members of the advisory committee, were dismissed in February. As attempts to resolve the conflict were unsuccessful, workers led by IndustriALL affiliate FGTHCC-UGTT organized a strike in May, protesting against the violation of the right to organize and the dismissals.

As the employer still refused to engage with the union, IndustriALL Global Union intervened; sending protest letters to the company management, publishing, contacting fellow global unions for solidarity, as well as providing the necessary expertise on site.

In May, members of German union Ver.di, affiliated to Uni Global Union, protested in solidarity with the Tunisian workers.

“The support from IndustriALL gave us a moral and practical push. After a long period of silence, we first met virtually and negotiations then continued in person. We demand the company to fix the issues that caused the dispute and to engage with us in a regular dialogue,”

says Habib Hazami, FGTHCC-UGTT general secretary.

IndustriALL general secretary Valter Sanches says:

“We congratulate the union on resolving the conflict with the employer. When we come together, we win. We urge Gartex to establish for a genuine dialogue with the union for a sustainable future of the company and its workers.”

As per agreement, the remaining dismissed workers have been referred to the legal system and will be provided legal support by FGTHCC-UGTT.

Gartex employs around 1,000 workers and is owned by German garment manufacturer Gardeur, which in its turn is owned by the Dutch Duijndam Group.