From the TUC

Tunisia: globalisation’s impact leads to mass protests

12 Jan 2011, by in International, Labour market

What’s happening in Tunisia is a lesson to all us, and it’s especially personal for trade unionists in Yorkshire and the Humber. The world’s economy cannot run at the lowest common denominator: we need decent work, good wages and conditions, and stable sustainable economies. Only then will we see a return to growth, prosperity and true freedom.The TUC in Yorkshire and the Humber have a personal view of the recent state sponsored violence against workers in Tunisia. They have been demonstrating against high levels of unemployment mainly amongst young people, and crippling austerity measures introduced by the government. It’s personal because we have a twinning arrangement with UGTT members in Ben Arous (a region of Tunisia around the capital, Tunis) and many trade unionists have personal friendships developed over a number of years. We have been receiving video evidence from our colleagues of appalling violence handed out to demonstrators by the Tunisian authorities, with reports of up to 50 deaths in the last few weeks.

We are pleased that the ITUC and certain governments have called for restraint, and we support wholeheartedly the UGTT statement published on 4 January which seems to offer a sensible route through negotiation to discuss the main issues that have provoked the demonstrations.

We also call for an end to indiscriminate violence, release of workers detained and an end to blockades of local and regional trade union offices, and for constructive negotiations to take place to deepen democracy and freedom with respect for Human Rights.

Many of us read of these situations happening in different countries around the world, but your attention is focussed when the issues become frightening because of friendships on a personal level. It is up to trade unions all over the world to act to stop the downward spiral of workers terms and conditions. We must vigorously campaign on an international front against the race to the bottom, where globalisation is used to always find the cheapest labour markets so that profits can be maximised.

4 Responses to Tunisia: globalisation’s impact leads to mass protests

  1. Ben Egan
    Jan 12th 2011, 4:48 pm

    Good post, Bill. The BBC is reporting today that:

    “There were also reports that security forces were trying to storm the headquarters of the Tunisian Labour Union’s headquarters in Tunis.”

    Keep us updated on anything you hear about our friends in Tunisia.

  2. Paul
    Jan 13th 2011, 11:39 am

    Good post. This is how the greed of corporate interests and financial institutions plays out outside the rich economies of Western Europe and North America.

    Traditional jobs and investment moved ever further south and east to save a dollar here or there and food prices at record levels due to reckless speculation by fat cats in London and Zurich.

    To top that, any protest is met with the strongest arm (and baton) of a repressive police state…

    Please keep us updated of any developments.

  3. mdai
    Jan 13th 2011, 2:55 pm

    Good post: Why protest? What they are protesting about gets lost in the news.

  4. boughdiri mohamed ali
    Jan 24th 2011, 11:14 pm

    الرفيق بيل
    تحية الى رفاقنا الاشاوس فى المملكة المتحدة على وقفتهم الشجاعة الى جانب الشعب التونسي الابي الذى سجل صفحات ناصعة فى التاريخ الانساني ,
    ان الثورة التى قام بها شعب تونس كانت نتيجة الظلم والقهر والاضطهاد اضافة الى غياب العدالة الاجتماعية والتفاوت بين الجهات وخنق الحريات العامة والفردية
    ان المقاربة النقابية هي الوحيدة القادرة على ايجاد حلول لمشاكل العالم وبسط السلام بين شعوبه