Wednesday 01 February 2023
Tunisia – (dpa)
A union official announced today, Wednesday, that the Tunisian General Labor Union is studying steps to respond to what it considered a “provocation against the organization” in the wake of the union’s suspension by the security forces and public criticism launched by Tunisian President Kais Saied.
Assistant Secretary-General Hafeez Hafeez said that the administrative body of the union will meet the day after tomorrow, Friday, to consider public freedoms and union rights after the suspension of the General Secretary of the Roads Union, Anis Al-Kaabi.
Yesterday, Tuesday, the security forces arrested Al-Kaabi for investigation, after a strike launched by the workers of the highway extraction stations.
“The arrest comes within the framework of continuing to restrict public and individual freedoms,” Hafeez told the Tunis Afrique News Agency.
Yesterday, President Qais Saeed said in the military barracks in Aweina, in a meeting with security officials, that “those who undertake to block roads or threaten to do so cannot remain outside the circle of accountability.”
Saeed directed veiled criticisms of the Labor Union and said in his speech, “The union right is guaranteed by the constitution, but it cannot turn into a cover for political aims that are no longer hidden from anyone.”
The federation enjoys traditional influence in Tunisia and objects to Said’s policy of running the country and making crucial decisions without the involvement of national and political forces, since he announced the exceptional measures on July 25, 2021.
And the union began with other organizations to formulate a “rescue initiative” that he said he would present to the presidency. The Tunisian president did not make any comment on it.
Hafeez said that the federation rejects “the provocative and inflammatory rhetoric issued by the Presidency of the Republic against the federation,” adding that the organization’s administrative body does not rule out taking escalatory decisions at its meeting.
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