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Tunisian union calls national strike to press wage demands

Reuters , Saturday 24 Nov 2018
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Tunisia's main union said it would stage a national strike in January to press its demand for higher wages after the government said it would seek a realistic pay deal.

About 650,000 public sector workers went on strike and thousands joined protests across Tunisia on Thursday over the government's refusal to raise wages amid threats from international lenders to stop financing Tunisia's tattered economy.

Raising the pressure on the government the UGTT Union called for a nationwide strike that include public employees and state companies on Jan. 17.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said earlier on Saturday that any agreement must take into account the public finances.

The government had said it does not have the money to pay for the increases strikers want, worth about 2 billion Tunisian dinars (538.15 million pounds) in total.

Tunisia's economy has been in turmoil since autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in a 2011 uprising sparked by anger at unemployment and poverty.

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