Gafsa governorate in southern Tunisia staged a general strike on Thursday that included most of the city’s public amenities to demand development projects and job opportunities for the unemployed.
Public and administrative institutions, in particular, have closed their doors since morning. Meanwhile, strikers from several sectors, unemployed people and representatives of civil society organizations gathered at the headquarters of the Regional Labor Union in Gafsa.
The organizations leading the strike are calling on the government to implement the previously suspended decisions issued by the ministerial councils relating to development projects in the region, in addition to publishing the results of the candidacies to integrate the staff of the Company of Phosphates of Gafsa ( CPG), the largest state-owned company in the country.
Gafsa is one of the main states that participated in the protests against the late President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali’s regime, even before the events that led to his departure in 2011.
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The governorate includes the phosphate mining basin, which experiences frequent strikes and sit-ins that have led to the collapse of production by less than half, against an estimated annual rate of eight million tonnes per year before 2010.
The unemployment rate in a number of districts in the governorate has reached over 35 percent, nearly double the estimated national average of 16.2, according to the latest official statistics.
Tunisia has experienced general strikes in several regions since the end of 2020, including the governorates of Kairouan, Baja, El-Kef, Jendouba and Tataouine.