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Tunisian civil servants hold nationwide strike for higher salary

(Xinhua)    13:38, November 23, 2018

TUNISIA-TUNIS-GENERAL STRIKE-CIVIL SERVICE

Civil servants gather in front of the headquarters of parliament in Tunis, Tunisia, Nov. 22, 2018. More than 690,000 public service employees on Thursday took part in a general strike across 24 provinces in Tunisia, Tunisian national radio reported. Organized by Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT), the general strike paralyzed the entire civil service system, including ministries, as well as central and regional administrations. (Xinhua/Adele Ezzine)

TUNIS, Nov. 22 (Xinhua) -- More than 690,000 public service employees on Thursday took part in a general strike across 24 provinces in Tunisia, Tunisian national radio reported.

The strikers were shouting slogans, demanding the right to higher salary and protesting the government's refusal to improve workers' purchasing power.

"Dignity, freedom and professional justice," "Gathering to defend the purchasing power and the public health sector" and "Tunisia is not for sale" are some of the slogans shouted by the strikers.

Organized by Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT), the general strike paralyzed the entire civil service system, including ministries, as well as central and regional administrations.

Hundreds of civil servants gathered in front of the headquarters of Assembly of People's Representatives, or the parliament in the capital Tunis.

A security device was set up by Tunisian Interior Ministry to guarantee the smooth influx of peace protesters.

The general strikes, however, did not cause suspension of public transport and vital services in the health sector.

"It was unacceptable not to grant wage increases ... the central union had left enough time for the government to start negotiations," said UGTT Secretary-General Noureddine Tabboubi.

UGTT will hold a meeting on Saturday to discuss further measures, Tabboubi revealed.


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