| 27 September 2022, Tuesday |

Tunisia government: Labour union ready for reforms dialogue

During a working session between a delegation from the Tunisian General Labour Union UGTT (the country’s largest trade union), led by its Secretary-General Noureddine Taboubi, and the government, the latter announced on Friday, that the (UGTT) expressed its readiness to engage in a serious dialogue with the government on economic and social reforms.

The session was conducted by Prime Minister Najla Bouden, according to a statement issued by the government’s presidency.

“Taboubi said in a statement after the meeting that the union is ready to interact and work jointly with the government by submitting proposals to develop the document of structural reforms and to unify perspectives on many critical issues,” the statement revealed.

Taboubi stressed the necessity that: “The reforms submitted by the government balance between the social side on the one hand, and the need to create wealth with increasing the rate of economic growth on the other.”

Taboubi confirmed that the UGTT is: “Ready to open a serious and responsible dialogue once the works of the 25th congress of the UGTT are completed, as well as the election of a new leadership capable of abiding by all its commitments pledged to the government.”

Bouden affirmed during the session: “The keenness of the government to work jointly with all national organisations and to devote the principle of consultation, with open and responsible dialogue between the government and the UGTT in all vital issues that are a matter of concern for Tunisians.”

According to the statement, the initial document of the programme of structural reforms developed by the government and the various unresolved social issues formed the most important items of this meeting.

The government previously prepared a preliminary document on the programme of the structural reform, which it submitted to its social partners, pending a consensus. It will then submit it to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reach a new agreement.

Tunisia is seeking a new loan of $4 billion in exchange for reforms that mainly affect the local community, such as freezing appointments in the government, a salary freeze, expanding taxes and rescheduling any subsidies on basic materials.

If the IMF approves these reforms, they will remain truncated due to Tunisia’s need for the confidence of loan donor countries and foreign investors.

Tunisia has witnessed a political crisis since 25 July, when President Kais Saied imposed exceptional measures, including suspending parliament, abolishing the body monitoring the constitution, issuing laws by presidential decrees, dismissing the government and appointing a new one.

The majority of political forces in Tunisia reject Saied’s exceptional measures and consider them a coup against the constitution. Other forces, however, support them as a correction of the course of the 2011 revolution during political, economic and health crises (COVID-19 pandemic). middleastmonitor