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Tunisia’s UGTT Cancels Strike After Government Promise of Wage Raise

Tunisia’s UGTT Cancels Strike After Government Promise of Wage Raise

Tuesday, 23 October, 2018 - 10:30
Unemployed protesters shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the government provide them with job opportunities, as Tunisia marks the sixth anniversary of Tunisia's 2011 revolution, in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia January 14, 2017. REUTERS/Amine Ben Aziza
Tunisia- Al Munji Al Saidani
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed will be postponing the announcement of a partial cabinet reshuffle he was preparing, Tunisian government sources said. The National Coalition bloc gaining the support of 11 deputies inspired the delay.

With news of the cabinet reshuffle being put on hold, the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) announced canceling a planned public sector strike that could further threaten social and security stability in Tunisia.

UGTT has canceled the nationwide strike by public workers after the government agreed to raise public sector wages and not to sell state companies in a deal that could ease social tensions in the country. The vowed wage increase for public sector employees ranges between 205 and 270 dinars (approximately $73-$97)

“We decided to cancel the strike of Oct. 24,” head of UGTT Nourredine Taboubi told reporters. “This will help to create a stable social climate. Our agreement is an increase in wages in state companies in 2018, 2019 and 2020.”

Taboubi said the union had also agreed as part of the deal that reform of state companies will be “in a manner that ensures the sustainability of the public sector”.

“Under this agreement, the government has committed not to sell any public company,” UGTT said in a statement.

The deal will be signed in the next few days, Taboubi said.

However, the cancellation did not prevent the union from preparing for a new strike that was announced for Nov. 22.

Information leaked pertaining to the ministerial reshuffle said it will be postponed until after the state budget for 2019 is ratified in December. PM Chahed is looking to replace a number of ministers, some of which are facing accusations of corruption.

The cabinet reshuffle is expected to include Nidaa Tounes party members following the party's threats to withdraw from the cabinet formed under PM Chahed.

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