Tunisian Labour Union on Thursday embarked on a nationwide strike starting with Gafsa, the streets were filled with hundreds of members of the labour union demanding the government to honour the promises to provide infrastructures and more jobs in the region which is highly blessed with phosphate and still on of the most marginalised in the country.
“Recruitment is a priority and not a favour,” chanted the demonstrators with some waving the Tunisian flag.
“The Union announced it will hold strikes in a number of states of the country, beginning in Gafsa, in southwestern Tunisia, on January 7”
The call for civil disobedience and activism came from Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) and Tunisian Union of Industry, Commerce and Crafts (UTICA).
Mohamed Sghayer Miraoui, who is in charge of the UGTT regional office in Gafsa, shared the stance of the impassioned residents.
“The authorities made promises in November 2020 to carry out projects but nothing has been done yet. Nothing has been done yet. We ask for quick achievements and a schedule with precise dates, that they be publicly declared and with priority given to projects concerning health and employment.”
In recent years, the authorities have promised several thousand jobs in local public enterprises – including the Gafsa Phosphate Company or the Tunisian Chemical Group.
The inhabitants are also demanding a university hospital with specialized doctors, especially as the population has expressed that it suffers from phosphate pollution.
The first in a series of movements, January 14 marks the anniversary of the fall of Ben Ali following the 2010 uprising — and Tunisians are still seeking reform.