From the TUC

Solidarity with Tunisian unions: strike averted

13 Dec 2012, By

UGTT press conference

UGTT Secretary-General Hassine Abassi calls a press conference after successful negotiations. Photo UGTT

The general strike scheduled for today by Tunisian union confederation UGTT was called off at the last minute after talks with the Government ended successfully. But there is still a way to go to address the issues that led to the strike call, such as repeated acts of violence against the union movement, and the TUC will be following up our letter of solidarity with an approach to the UK Foreign Office and Embassy in Tunis.

The ETUC report that the strike was called off after the Tunisian government – which initially played down the most serious attacks on the UGTT by islamists militias (some of them linked to the party which runs the government) – pledged to set up a joint commission of enquiry to identify those responsible for the violence being perpetrated against trade unions for over a year and to bring the culprits to justice within the space of no more than 40 days.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said:

“We will remain extremely vigilant over the coming weeks to make sure that the Tunisian government respects its commitment to put an end to the anti-union violence and to bring to justice those responsible for the recent crimes against the UGTT and its members.”

TUC Regional Secretary for Yorkshire and the Humber Bill Adams is in frequent contact with the trade unionists in the UGTT Ben Arous region as part of a twinning arrangement cemented by joint study tours in recent years on modern manufacturing and skills training. He’ll be building on that relationship in 2013.