Tunisia’s Nobel Peace Prize-winner Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) opened the annual congress, on Sunday, to debate strategy and elect a new leader, under the motto “Allegiance to Tunisia, Fidelity to Martyrs and Dedication to Workers.”
With more than half a million members, the UGTT was among four civil society groups that played an important part in a 2013 national dialogue that helped salvage the country’s democratic transition.
The groups were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015.
Two former UGTT officials are serving in the cabinet of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.
But the union has kept its activist outlook, a public sector wage freeze in the autumn prompted it to threaten a general strike.
Over 7,000 participants attended the opening session, including trade unionists and 120 guests representing national organisations as well as Arab and international trade unions in addition to representatives of the National Dialogue Quartet and independent personalities.
Forty candidates are seeking membership of the 13-strong Executive Bureau. Two lists are in competition: the one of national consensus chaired by Nourreddine Taboubi and that headed by Kacem Afaya.