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UGTT takes strike action in support of Tunisia protests
On Friday, 14 January 2011, workers organized within the UGTT (General Union of Tunisian Workers), including the IUF-affiliated food and tourism federation FGAT, took part in a two-hour general strike in protest against the government’s violent suppression of the popular uprising in the face of the country’s economic problems, high unemployment and the corruption of the presidential family.
Recognizing the need to respond to the legitimate demands of the protest movement, the National Commission of the UGTT met in extraordinary session on 11 January and issued a statement:
- condemning the recourse to armed violence by the police and the killing of numerous citizens;
- expressing solidarity with and offering support to the families of the victims;
- calling for the creation of a commission of inquiry to clarify the conditions under which live ammunition was used against protesters and to determine responsibility;
- defending freedom of speech and the right to peaceful demonstration in accordance with international norms and the Constitution of Tunisia, recalling that these rights were acquired by the Tunisian people through a long process of national struggle and social development;
- demanding the immediate release of all those detained in connection with the protests;
- condemning the destruction of union property by the police in the town of Kasserine and rejecting desperate attempts by the government to blame the union for the tragic events which have marked the country;
- demanding support to the unemployed which covers at least their basic needs as well as free medical service;
- calling for the creation of a committee of national dialogue to determine the economic and social reforms necessary to ensure national stability, security and prosperity.