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Tunisia Raises Minimum Wages on Labor Day

Tunisia Raises Minimum Wages on Labor Day

Thursday, 2 May, 2019 - 06:45
People rally in Tunis during a nationwide strike against the government's refusal to raise wages,January 17, 2019. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi/File Photo

Tunisia's government announced on Wednesday raising the minimum wage for workers as well as pensions for hundreds of thousands of private-sector retirees by 6.5 percent.

The move, which coincided with Labor Day celebrations, aims to defuse discontent over economic hardships in the country.

This came two days after thousands of protesters took to the street in the central city of Sidi Bouzid against marginalisation and deteriorating economic conditions.

Meanwhile, hundreds also rallied in the northern city of Kef to demand jobs.

A government statement reported by Reuters, said Prime Minister Youssef Chahed had approved a rise in the monthly minimum wage for industrial and agricultural workers of 6.5 percent to 403 dinars ($133).

A 6.5 percent rise in pensions for 700,000 retirees in the private sector was also approved.

The International Monetary Fund has previously pushed Tunisia to freeze public-sector wages - the bill for which doubled to about 16 billion dinars ($5.5 billion) in 2018 from 7.6 billion in 2010 - to reduce them from about 15.5 percent of GDP now to 12.5 percent in 2020.

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