THU 18 - 7 - 2019
Date: May 3, 2019
Source: The Daily Star
Strike by Tunisian fuel workers leads to queues and empty pumps
TUNIS: Fuel distribution workers in Tunisia began a three-day strike Thursday to demand higher wages, leading to long queues and empty pumps at petrol stations across the North African nation.

The government is facing rising public demands for more pay as price rise, with inflation at about 7 percent. It is also contending with pressure from international lenders to cut the public wage bill and other spending to shore up state finances.

Tunisia raised the minimum wage for industrial and farm workers, as well as pensions for hundreds of thousands of private-sector retirees, by 6.5 percent Wednesday, a move aimed at defusing discontent about economic hardship. The government also agreed in February to raise wages of about 670,000 state employees after a nationwide strike.

The strike by fuel distribution workers, who are demanding a wage rise of about 300 dinars ($100) a month, is the latest in a series of stoppages by education, health and transport workers.

Tunisians have complained about a decline of state services since Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in 2011. The uprising to topple the autocrat heralded a democratic transition but the associated turmoil also led to an economic crisis.

"All services have gone down, we have become like a country where there is a war - no fuel, no medicines, no milk," said one man, who only gave his name as Mohamed, in a queue for fuel.

The economic crisis has eroded living standards and driven up the level of unemployment, which economists blame on the slow pace of economic liberalization reforms and poor investment.

Readers Comments (0)
Add your comment

Enter the security code below*

 Can't read this? Try Another.
Related News
Tunisia presidential candidate charged with money laundering
Tunisia asserts no power vacuum despite president’s illness
Tunisian president ‘stable’ after health crisis
Tunisia approves law excluding presidential candidate leading in polls
Shutting up shop: Libyan conflict squeezes southern Tunisia
Related Articles
Can Tunisia’s democracy survive the turmoil?
Tunisian politics between crisis and normalization
A community approach to militants’ rehab in Tunisia
Barriers to Tunisia’s security and defense reform
An eye to the future: The Tunisian Startup Act
Copyright 2019 . All rights reserved