Tunisia: Social Security and Energy workers strike

A national strike by Social Security workers took place in Tunisia on December 8th, with workers from the National Medical Care, Retirement and Social Security funds taking part. The workers were demanding that the government covers their social security provision, a benefit they enjoyed prior to 1990. The striking workers held sit-ins at government offices across the country. By 2pm the same day, the government had conceded that it would provide free social security to 7,000 workers.

A wave of strikes has shut-down key industrial workplaces in the southern city of Gabes. Following demonstrations which began on the 17th November by workers for pay rises and the right to work, strikes and workplace occupations took place at key installations, blocking the supply of gas and electricity to most of southern Tunisia. On December 8th strikes by port workers in Gabes led to three major oil suppliers being turned away at the harbor. A group of unemployed youth also halted the activity of a water pumping station which is responsible for the provision of drinking water to the southern region.

On November 20th the Tunisian Chemical Group reported that production had been reduced by 50% due to strikes and workplace occupations in key production and distribution areas such as M’dhila, Gabes and Skhira.

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