A general strike is to be held tomorrow in Sidi Bouzid, a governorate in the country’s interior, to protest against yesterday’s attack on the headquarters of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT).
“The main demands of trade unionists in Sidi Bouzid are the following: invite the authorities to put an end to these violations against the UGTT, follow-up and hold accountable the criminals, who attacked the unionists yesterday, and dissolve the League for the Protection of the Revolution because it has committed a crime against the unionists,” claimed Sliman Rouisi, an active unionist in the regional branch of the UGTT of Sidi Bouzid.
The League is an unofficial network that supports the ruling Ennahdha party and aims to root out members of the former regime.
He added that the strike is supposed to last only one day with a possibility for a prolongation if the authorities do not respond to their demands. “We are waiting for a decision to be taken by the governing body of the UGTT to know how long the general strike would last,” stated Rouisi.
According to TAP, the UGTT planned to boycott the official procession to commemorate Farhat Hached’s assassination, which took place this morning at the burial site of the UGTT founder leader in the Kasbah square.
Hfaeidh Hfaeidh, assistant secretary general of the UGTT in charge of the civil service, said to TAP, “We will not visit the tomb of Hached, and we will not participate with the government in the commemoration of Hached’s assassination.”
The abstention from today’s ceremony was undertaken to protest the violence that took place yesterday in front of the UGTT headquarters. Protesters yesterday expressed their belief that Ennahdha was responsible for such acts of violence and that it encouraged certain groups to attack them.
Ennahdha officials have already countered accusations that the League for the Protection of the Revolution partook in the attacks against unionists yesterday.
Najib Gharbi, a press officer in Ennahdha, told Mosaique FM that protesters affiliated with the League have been assaulted by militias of the UGTT and not the opposite.
“Some international observers noticed that the unionists were responsible as they started to attack the members of the League,” added Zoubair Choudi, a spokesman of Ennahdha.