BWI condemns Tunisia’s entry ban on international trade unionists

The Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI), representing 12 million workers worldwide, strongly condemns the expulsion of European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) General Secretary Esther Lynch from Tunisia on 19 February for expressing her solidarity to Tunisian workers who were holding a massive pro-democracy demonstration.  

In the same breath, BWI denounces the government’s entry ban on international trade unionists from Algeria, France, Italy, Libya, Norway, Palestine and Spain, including ITUC Deputy general Secretary Owen Tudor, who were set to visit Tunisia on 3 March to convey their support and solidarity to the Tunisian trade unions and call for the release of trade union leader Anis Kaabi. 

The Tunisian government’s actions against the international trade unionists are unjust and despotic. They are part of President Kais Saied’s desperate attempt to crush the country’s democratic movement, including the trade unions, by denying them the right to solidarity from the global community. The international trade union movement will not be intimidated. BWI will continue to close ranks with the Tunisian trade unions in their fight for labour rights, freedom and democracy. Solidarity has no borders. Undemocratic regimes may erect walls, shut doors and enforce entry bans against trade unionists, but the spirit of labour solidarity will endure and outlast tyranny. 

Free trade union leader Anis Kaabi! 

Respect labour rights in Tunisia!

Solidarity forever!