Public Sector Unions in Chad Escalate Confrontation with Authorities, Threaten Strike

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The coalition of trade unions, signatory to the triennial social pact with the government since 2021, is now threatening to go on strike. They denounce the government’s lack of commitment to improving the living conditions of workers in Chad’s public services.

After several months of waiting, the trade union coalition announced on Tuesday, February 6th, that it would adopt a more confrontational stance with the authorities. “The government must respond to our requests and demands,” they stated. Among their demands are the settlement of outstanding transportation fees, registration for social coverage for state contract workers, and the lifting of freezes on salary increases and promotions.

Michel Barka, president of the Union of Chad’s Trade Unions (UST) and spokesperson for the coalition, keeps an updated list of demands. “The evaluation of the triennial pact lasted more than two months. The result of this evaluation is very disappointing. Eight points have been fully implemented, 21 partially implemented, and 33 not implemented. Grassroots activists are starting to react, and the risk of social unrest is increasing,” he remarked.

Mahamat Nasradine Moussa, general secretary of the Independent Confederation of Chad’s Trade Unions (CIST), sees a lack of willingness on the part of the government. “If it’s about increasing the salaries of the military, the government has money, but when it comes to workers, there are no means, no efforts are made. This time, either the government respects the commitment it has signed, or we will go all the way,” he asserted.

The unions have announced that without a response from the government, they will consult their members to trigger a strike in a week if their demands are not met. When contacted, the Ministry of Public Service and Social Dialogue declined to comment on our requests.

Soukaina Sghir

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