Thursday, January 20, 2011

Tunisia: Statement of the National Administrative Commission of the Tunisian General Union of Labor

Statement of the National Administrative Commission
Tunisian General Union of Labor

The members of the National Administrative Commission of the Tunisian General Trade Union held an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday, 18 January 2011 in Gammarth, headed by the General Secretary comrade Abdessalem Jerad. They analyzed the rapid developments witnessed by the country and assessed the sacrifices made by the trade unionists, the workers, the population and the martyrs in the historical popular uprising to resist injustice, oppression and delinquency. Since the members of the Administrative Commission believe in the national and social role, which has long been played by the labor Organization in the struggle for freedom, justice and human rights, they:

1 - Stand in humility and homage for the martyrs who perished during the uprising of our people against oppression and tyranny, against the protection of the corrupt gang that lived in our country and for the resistance to an oppressive system based on abolishing public and individual freedoms and human rights.

2 - Remind that the Tunisian General Trade Union was the first organization that alerted the Government through its studies and memoirs, and its speech to the public, about the situation of tension and anger that has reached our youth and our people as a result of the clumsy development policies which led to unemployment and poverty and created a void in the social and cultural development.

3 - Stand in tribute and appreciation for the solidarity between all the social classes in order to maintain security and public property. They also stress the fact that the acts of vandalism and looting were carried out by groups who were paid by symbols of the presidential security and by spoilers from the family of former president as well as his followers and relatives. They consider that any attempts to divert the public opinion from the real perpetrators of these acts of vandalism and looting represent a kind of deception and obfuscation.

4 - Call for the immediate freezing of the accounts of the former president, his family and in-laws and the nationalization of their properties and to prevent all the suspects from leaving the Tunisian territory waiting for the outcome of the investigations that will be conducted by the committee formed for this purpose.

5 - Stress the need for the announced political reforms to be immediately effective, including the separation between Political Party and State, the passing of a general legislative amnesty, the revision of the Constitution and the Electoral Code and enabling all the political sensitivities of their right to get organized and to exercise their political activities freely, away from all the pressures and constraints.

6 - Call for the creation of representative structures with broad powers to monitor the implementation of the immediate measures that were announced as well as the political, economic and social reforms.

7- In order to reinforce the trade unionist rights, according to the international conventions and the local laws, the members of the Administrative Commission call for the immediate dissolution of the professional divisions and their federations since they are parallel structures that clearly damaged worker relations and the social climate within the institutions of production. They also stress the need to dissolve the structures of the Constitutional Democratic Party, a party that is still
headed by former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

8 - Ask for reviewing the terms of the right to demonstrate peacefully in order to eliminate crippling strictures that limit people’s freedom to protest against the adopted policies that contradict with their interests and aspirations.

9 - Despite the fact that the Tunisian General Trade Union is keen to social and political reforms and to the need to strengthen them, it considers that the composition of the announced coalition government does not respond to the conditions set by the Executive Bureau in the statement issued on Saturday 15 January 2011 and does not correspond to the aspirations of the workers and the population concerning real renewal, breaking off with the old practices, and equilibriums. This is
due to the number of representatives of the previous government and the ruling party in the coalition government as well as the marginalization of the role of the representatives of the Tunisian General Trade Union. The members of the Administrative Commission announce the withdrawal of their representatives from the coalition government, and the resignation of the union members from the House of Representatives, the Council of Advisers and the municipal councils as well as the freezing of the membership of the Tunisian General Trade Union in the Economic
and Social Council as well its membership in the Supreme Councils.

10 - Reject all forms of external intervention to guide our people and to influence them because the population who managed to overthrow a President who suppressed all those who upheld the right to freedom of expression, is qualified to chart their own destiny away from guardianship.

11 - Call for working to form an elected constituent assembly, through free and democratic elections, which reflects the will of our people to build a better future.

12 - Decide to give an amnesty to the trade unionists whose activity was suspended in all sectors and regions.

Tunis 18 January 2011

General Secretary
Abdessalem Jerad


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Revitalising Labour attempts to reflect on efforts to rebuild the labour movement internationally, emphasising the role that left-wing political currents can play in this process. It welcomes contributions on union struggles, internal renewal processes within the labour movement and the struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

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