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Gafsa-Phosphate: Government suspends all job offers in production centres shut down until resumption of production (statement)

Published the:  03/03/2018

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(TAP) – A small cabinet meeting, chaired Saturday at the Kasbah by Prime Minister Youssef Chahed decided to suspend all job offers at the phosphate production centres shut down and to freeze all recruitment programmes developed by the Gafsa Phosphate Company (GPC) or those it intends to undertake while suspending the results of the competitions until the normal resumption of phosphate production and transport.

In a statement released by the Prime Ministry, the cabinet meeting, which examined the development of the situation in the mining basin and the development file in Gafsa governorate, "instructed the parties concerned to determine the responsibilities and the Minister of Justice to take immediate action for prosecution of all those who violate the law and deliberately impede the production and transport of phosphate. "

"The right to social protest is guaranteed as long as it is exercised within the legal framework, but hindering the activity of a public service and the use of force to stop work is an act punishable by law, following the discontinuation of phosphate production and its transport for long periods and the difficulties facing the Company and the stalemate resulting from the dialogue aimed at finding solutions for the normal resumption of activities of the company " adds the statement.

The Prime Minister stressed "the need to take all the necessary measures to protect the national economic interest" and affirmed that the government, while worrying to protect the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution "it is all also anxious to make all the decisions in order to make prevail the law and the higher national interest ", the same source indicates.

The small cabinet meeting reiterated "the commitment of the Government to accelerate the pace of development and diversify the economic base of the Gafsa Governorate by implementing all development programmes, by studying and implementing new development projects for the benefit of the governorate for which the Minister of Finance is entrusted with monitoring ".

The meeting also noted with satisfaction the dialogue initiatives launched by the components of civil society, notably the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) and the role it has constantly played to help find solutions guaranteeing the recovery and the sustanibility of the production ".

Phosphate production has stopped for several weeks following a social movement of job demand in the mining basin which may worsen the losses suffered by the company and will have, according to observers, serious consequences on public finances for a sector providing foreign currency