Tunisia: UGTT to set up support centers to defend migrant workers' rights
Tunisia's national trade union center UGTT has condemned the exploitation of migrant workers from sub-Saharan Africa in Tunisia and called for government action to protect their rights.
Following the death of a worker from Ivory Coast on a farm in Sidi Bouzid on February 6, and the death earlier this year of an African migrant in a factory in Sfax, the union is calling for full protection for the rights of migrant workers through regularizing their status, the deployment of labour inspectors to enforce equal treatment at the workplace and full compliance with international labour standards. A February 13 UGTT press release states "These tragic events reveal the dire general conditions for workers coming from sub-Saharan countries, particularly in construction, agriculture, tourism, restaurants, petrol stations and other sectors, including domestic workers, who are the weakest and most vulnerable target groups" targeted by unscrupulous employers.
The UGTT "is dedicated to defending the rights of migrant workers living in Tunisia, whether in a regular or irregular situation", just as it defends Tunisians working abroad, and is establishing migrant assistance centers within its regional organizations in Tunis, Sfax, Sousse and Medenine to provide legal and other support and monitor and denounce rights violations.
The UGTT's food, tourism and commerce federation FGAT-UGTT is affiliated to the IUF.