Thousands of Tunisian state workers yesterday rallied in the center of the capital Tunis, protesting price hikes and the government's freeze on wage increases amid economic woes. The protesters gathered outside parliament in response to a nationwide walkout called by Tunisia's influential General Labor Union after the collapse of negotiations with the government to increase their wages. The protesters raised placards demanding higher wages, the fight against corruption and the "independence of national decisions."
In recent months, Tunisia has been under pressure from international lenders, mainly the International Monetary Fund (IMF), to take drastic measures to revamp its economy.
Elsewhere in Tunisia, thousands of public sector employees gathered outside branches of the General Labor Union yesterday. The protests crippled schools, universities and health care facilities across the North African country. More than 90 per cent of Tunisia's state employees have responded to the call for the general strike, according to the union.
On Wednesday, Tunisian government said it respects the right to strike and peaceful demonstration as guaranteed by the Constitution and laws. The country witnesses the third general strike since the January 2011 revolution. Tunisia was the birthplace of the "Arab Spring" uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa in early 2011 that overthrew the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.