UGTT cancels December 8 general strike

The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) canceled the general strike in the public service scheduled for Thursday, December 8, after an agreement was signed with the government Wednesday at the Government Palace in Kasbah, in the presence of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and UGTT Secretary-General Houcine Abassi.

The new agreement provides for the payment of 50% of the salary increases from January to November 2017 and the payment of 50% of the specific premiums from April to November 2017. Both payments will have to be terminated in December 2017.

The second half of the wage increases (general and specific) will be paid from January to March 2018.

The increases in the specific premium for 2018 will be paid on the dates originally planned, in accordance with the agreement of September 22, 2015.

It was also agreed to revise the tax scale to ensure equal and fair taxation, accelerate the adoption of the National Council for Social Dialogue and launch a new round of wage negotiations from April 2018.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister welcomed the “remarkable level” of the “uninterrupted” negotiations between the government and the UGTT and the “high patriotic sense” of the trade union organisation.

He stressed the imperative to preserve social peace, saying this agreement “reconciles the concern for social peace and recovery of public finance”, and corresponds to the objectives of the Finance Law 2017.

“The agreement paves the way for solving the country’s problems, mainly unemployment and the balance of public finances. It will help to restore growth, which currently does not exceed 1.5%”, he said.

The Secretary General of the UGTT, for his part, stressed that the agreement signed on Wednesday “is a new sacrifice by the workers for the nation and a contribution on their part to the achievement of social stability.”

“Despite the inalienable right guaranteed by the agreement of September 22, 2016 on wage increases in the public sector, and despite the cancellation of increases by the 2016 budget, the UGTT has always upheld the dialogue, he pointed out.

He added: “we want to institutionalise social dialogue to prevent the country shocks and crises of that kind and to achieve the social peace necessary for security.”

The UGTT delegation included members of its Executive Board Noureddine Taboubi, Hfaïedh Hfaïedh, Kamel Saad, Anouar Ben Kaddour, Mouldi Jendoubi and Samir Cheffi.

The Government delegation was composed of Minister of Public Service and Governance, Abid Briki, Minister of Social Affairs Mohamed Trabelsi, Minister of Employment and Vocational Training Imed Hammami, Minister for Relations with Constitutional Authorities Mehdi Ben Gharbia and Minister in charge of relations with the HPR Iyed Dahmani.


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