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Hamadi Jebali : Wage increases: Government not considering blank year

Published the:  24/05/2012

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May 24, 2012 - TAP - Interim Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, Thursday, denied an intention to make 2012 a blank year in wage increases, saying labour negotiations continue with the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT).
Mr. Jebali, who was speaking on the sidelines of the tripartite conference on the launch of the social dialogue promotion project held from May 24 to 25 in Gammarth, said freezing wage increases is not considered, adding that increases will be decided in accordance with the resources available and the Government's priorities, first and foremost employment, fight against poverty and regional development.
"Defining national priorities and phasing wage increases are the main points of divergence between the Government and UGTT," he noted.
UGTT Secretary-General Hassine Abbassi emphasized the need to resume negotiations, saying a new dialogue session with the Government will be held next Saturday to reach a consensus between the two sides.
He announced that negotiations on wage increases in the private sector will start right after the congress of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) scheduled for next June, saying that a joint committee is currently examining urgent issues including wage increases.
For her part, UTICA President Widad Bouchamaoui said the employers' organization will start negotiations with the labour union in light of the agreements signed with the Government.