Government gives in

Published: Tuesday 15 August 2006

Putting an end to the two-month long strike over wage hikes for hospital staff and civil servants, the Chadian parliament has voted to meet the demand by the country's leading union, the Syndicated Union of Chad. The strike had paralysed healthcare facilities and closed down government offices in the capital, N'Djamena.

"The ministry of finance, sharing the concerns of the finance commission and taking into account the unhealthy social environment, has agreed to a five per cent wage increase, backdated to January 2005," the parliament's president, Nassour Guelengdouksia, said in a statement. The union had called a week-long strike on June 5 to demand a five per cent wage increase, which it says the government had promised in 2005. It continued the strike as the government refused the hike, saying its first priority was to defend the country against armed attacks. Following the parliament's decision, the head of the healthcare workers wing of the union, Francois Djondang, has said the union would examine the proposed deal before agreeing. "We will go back to work if the salaries are paid, but we will continue to engage in actions that concern our sector," he said. Strikes over wages are common in Chad, the fifth poorest country in the world.

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