Home World Africa Transport workers’ strike in Tunisia amid economic difficulties

Transport workers’ strike in Tunisia amid economic difficulties

Traffic jams were caused throughout Tunis on Monday as tram and bus workers in the Tunisian capital went on strike over unpaid wages and the absence of an end-of-year bonus.

The strike is the most recent in a series of similar protests as Tunisia struggles with an economic crisis that has frequently resulted in shortages of necessities like cooking oil and gasoline.

The country of North Africa is attempting to negotiate a nearly $2 billion bailout with the International Monetary Fund despite having debts that exceed 100% of its gross domestic product.

Responding to a call from the transport division of the potent UGTT trade union federation, workers at the state-owned public transportation company Transtu struck, and hundreds of people demonstrated outside the prime minister’s office.

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The strike, according to Transtu, shut down “the majority” of transportation services in the city’s capital, which has a population of just under three million.

The wildcat strike “paralyzed transportation throughout Greater Tunis… interfering with the operation of public services and citizen interests,” according to the transport ministry.

In accordance with the statement, Transtu employees started receiving salary payments on December 29. The “real cause of the strikes is a different set of financial demands, in the form of an annual bonus” to more than 7,000 employees, valued at more than $5 million, according to the statement.

The statement said that the bonus was being paid and that “all concerned parties” were cooperating to avoid further hiccups.

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During the November school holidays, when many families use public transportation, Transtu, which operates about 250 bus routes and 15 tram lines, was also closed due to a strike.

A number of politically delicate actions, such as the gradual elimination of subsidies on essential goods and the restructuring of public companies, have been demanded by the IMF. These include the monopolies in water, energy, and cereals, as well as Transtu.

Since President Kais Saied staged a dramatic power grab in July 2021, the country that gave birth to the Arab Spring has also been plagued by political divisions.

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