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Sunday, January 16, 2011

International Trade Union News:

Trade unions back protests
 The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) is urging its affiliates around the globe to mobilize against the Tunisian government's bloody repression of recent protests.
In a statement released on Wednesday evening, the ITUC said that over 50 people are thought to have died in the crackdown, with many more injured.
It called on President Zine El Abidine to rein in army units and riot police and open "a genuine dialogue with the Tunisian people to promote more equitable development."
ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow said: "The demonstrators are desperate young people just looking to make ends meet. It is up to the authorities to take every action to help them."
The death toll continues to rise, with 11 people reportedly killed by army units and riot police on Wednesday.
The latest wave of unrest started when the government imposed a night-time curfew and deployed armoured vehicles around Tunis.
On Monday President Abidine pledged to create 300,000 jobs in 2011 and 2012 to curb unemployment, while branding the protests "terrorist acts" stirred up by Islamists and left-wingers.
The ITUC welcomed the jobs pledge but said the government must take "concrete measures."
It joined with its Tunisian affiliate, the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), in expressing solidarity with the people of Tunisia and supporting the call for a development model "guaranteeing equal opportunities, the right to decent work and job opportunities providing a stable income capable of meeting their needs."
Ms Burrow said that Mr Abidine's government must "respect trade union rights and fundamental liberties such as freedom of expression."
Police have seized scores of suspected protest ringleaders from their homes and on Wednesday the leader of the banned Tunisian Workers Communist Party was detained.
Officers stormed Hamaa Hammami's home a day after he called on Tunisians to unite against "the system of tyranny."
Mr Hammami proposed the formation of "an interim national government to organize and supervise free and fair elections to form a constituent assembly tasked with laying the foundations of a new democratic republic really dedicated to the people's sovereignty."

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