Taboubi calls on progressive and civil forces to stand together to defend freedoms

Secretary General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi on Saturday called on progressive and civil forces to stand together to defend freedoms in Tunisia.

During a workers’ rally staged in front of the UGTT’s headquarters, Taboubi underlined that the UGTT and the progressive and civil forces must now close ranks to defend the country.

Addressing hundreds of trade unionists, he pointed out that any attempt to plot against the UGTT will fail, indicating the union’s commitment to defend rights and freedoms.

Taboubi decried in this regard, the smear campaign targeting the UGTT and its activists, pointing out that the extended executive committee will meet on March 7 and a national steering committee will be held later in Kerkennah to consider the country’s situation and take the appropriate position.

Taboubi further affirmed the UGTT’s commitment to the initiative launched jointly with the Bar Association, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights and the Tunisian League of Human Rights.

The UGTT secretary general expressed surprise at the large number of security forces deployed on the Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, as trade unionists are “peaceful protesters who respect the law.”

Taboubi criticised the government’s economic and financial policies based, according to him, on the implementation of a reform programme aimed at lifting the compensation on consumer products.

“The UGTT defends reforms based on guaranteeing the survival of public enterprises and improving the living conditions of Tunisians,” he said.

He also denounced the government’s failure to implement agreements on wage increases in the public sector and the arrest of trade unionists for their union activities.

In another connection, Taboubi asserted the Union’s solidarity with all sub-Saharan African migrants, underlining commitment to combat all forms of discrimination.