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General Strike in Chad

D 20 mars 2024     H 05:00     A Drew Povey     C 0 messages

There is a widely supported general strike in Chad from 20th February. This was in reaction to the military government increasing the price of fuel by 40% in the middle of February and the coming to an end of the three year social pact between the trade unions and the government. Indefinite strikes are also being held in the education and health sectors starting from mid-March.

Trade unions and civil society called on all workers in both the public and private sectors to stop working to protest against the increase in fuel prices at the pump. The general strike was initially called for six days.

On Monday, February 26, the Trade Union offices in N’Djamena, the capital, were boiling with anger. The trade union federations voted to extend the general strike for two more weeks. This was a response to the military government increasing the price of a litre of petrol by 40% in mid-February, causing an increase in the prices of basic necessities and the main modes of public transport. As the deadline expired, the Federation of Trade Unions of Chad (UST) called an indefinite general strike from 11th March.

The general strike is paralysing economic activities and essential public services such as hospitals, urban transport, schools and local businesses.

"The strike is well followed in the public sector : schools are closed, health centres are closed, public officials have left their workplaces. I believe that the strike is 100% supported by public sector workers.”

BRAHIM BEN SEID, Free Confederation of Workers of Chad.

“It is the poor that suffers the consequences of this price increase. This general strike is nothing other than the result of a unilateral decision by the government which no longer cares about social issues. Today the cities are completely paralyzed, all activities are slowed down and after all it is the average citizen who supports the strike.”

ALLAYANMAL KLADEGUE , Youth citizen movement against the high cost of living – Chad

In addition to the general strike, an indefinite strike was called by SYNTASST, and other trade unions, from the 12th March in the health and education sectors. A total and indefinite national education strike was also called from 15th March by the Teachers Union of Chad (SET). Members of this union had previously been on strike in November and December last year. The government promises that led to the suspension of this strike in early January have not been implemented. These included the payment of a “dedication bonus", the remainder of transport arrears and the salaries of newly appointed teachers.

Drew Povey