Tunisia: thousands of workers protest Saied’s authoritarianism

The Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) on March 4 launched a big demonstration against President Kais Saied’s authoritarian rule. Chanting “freedom” and “fight the police state,” thousands of trade unionists demanded a stop to the government’s arbitrary arrests of labour leaders and pro-democracy personalities. They also called on the government to return to the path of social dialogue.

UGTT said that around 20 opposition leaders were already arrested by the government, including trade union leader Anis Kaabi, who led a labour strike in the country’s motorway tolls. “We will never recognise these arrests as legitimate and just. We will resist them to defend our trade union rights. We are united like the five fingers of a hand," said UGTT President Noureddine Taboubi, in front of more than 3,000 protesters who have gathered at Tunis, the country’s capital.


UGTT also expressed its deep concern over the hateful, discriminatory and xenophobic messages online that target migrant workers, particularly sub-Saharans. It stressed that the hateful online contents have contributed to the climate of violence, fear and intimidation in the country, and further weakened social peace.