From the TUC

Tunisia’s unions: Guarantors that the revolution’s gains will not be lost

17 May 2011, by in International

A standing ovation greeted Tunisian trade union leader Abduljessam Jerad when he addressed the ETUC Congress this morning about the trade union role in the Arab Spring. He quoted a century-old poet much cited by demonstrators; “When a people demands to be left in peace, destiny can only bow to their will.”

He said that the large, democratic, popular movement which arose spontaneoulsy in his country included the active involvement of Tunisian unions.

It demanded liberty and justice: key union demands. And the UGTT was still active to guarantee the goals of the revolution are not forgotten: a structure that would remain active and vigilant once the people had left the streets and returned to their homes and workplaces.

And he issued a challenge to the two regions of Europe and North Africa – turning the Mediterranean , “the sea that links us to Europe” into a common space based on human and trade union rights, equality, social justice and liberty.