Tunisian General Strike to Halt All Transport and Logistics

Tunisia’s most prominent labor union will hold a nationwide strike that will cause all international flights to and from the country to be canceled, as well as land and sea transit.

According to the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the nationwide strike will take place today, June 16th, and will involve 15 transportation companies and the cancellation of 49 flights.

“The strike comes in light of low wages, the high cost of living, the deterioration of purchasing power, the decline in social services, the high tax burden, the rampant monopoly and smuggling, and the increase in unemployment among the children of wage earners and needy and marginalized families,” said the UGTT in a statement.

The strike is in light of Tunisia preparing to begin formal talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on a new rescue package for its debt-ridden economy.

Tunisia is experiencing its worst financial crisis in 30 years, with inflation reaching 7.8% this month. In exchange for controversial changes such as food and energy subsidy cuts and pay freezes, the country is requesting a $4 billion loan from the IMF.

The UGTT’s Secretary-General, Noureddine Taboubi, warned that the government’s current social and economic plan would be “painful” for Tunisians, as subsidies for essential items will be eliminated.

The UGTT criticized the Tunisian government’s approach to the financial crisis, “The successive government has been unable to solve it because it has followed unpopular and socially unpopular policies and choices, and the current government insists on the same approach.” 

Economic experts believe that the 24-hour long countrywide strike will cost the Tunisian economy $65 million.

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