Increasing concern over the fate of Tunisian trade union leaders -- imprisoned after riots followed a general strike on January 26th -- has prompted a European trade union delegation to visit Tunisia seeking their release.
GV Tunisian street scene
GV & CU Prime Minister's office (2 shots)
SV Delegation arriving at Prime Minister's office
SV INT Prime Minister greeting trade union delegation
SV Trade Union delegation and Prime Minister seated talking (4 shots)
The visit of the ICFTU delegation, follows a similar visit by its assistant Secretary-Genera, Mr. John Vandervaken two weeks ago. Mr. Vandervaken also met the Prime minister, Hedi Nouira, in an attempt to have all charges against trade union leaders lifted. The results of that meeting are still not known.
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Background: Increasing concern over the fate of Tunisian trade union leaders -- imprisoned after riots followed a general strike on January 26th -- has prompted a European trade union delegation to visit Tunisia seeking their release.
SYNOPSIS: More than seventy people were arrested in riots which followed last month's general strike. The incident was described as the worst violence to be seen in Tunisia since independence from France 22 years ago. Among those arrested, were several trade union leaders. The European delegation paid a visit to the Tunisian Prime Minister, Hedi Nouira, on Tuesday (21 February).
They had arrived in Tunisia the previous evening, and before meeting Mr. Hedi Nouari, had seen relatives of Mr. Habib Achour, the former Secretary General of the General Union of Tunisian Workers. Mr. Achour -- one of the trade union officials to be detained after the rioting -- has not been heard of for ten days, and there is growing concern for his welfare. The aim of the delegation -- sent by the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) -- was to express this concern and demand the release of Mr. Achour and all other detained unionists. The delegations told Mr. Nouira that Mr. Achour -- a vice-president of the ICFTU -- had acted with their full support in calling the general strike. They also stressed that by his action, Mr. Achour was exercising the right upheld by the confederation for its member unions in more than 80 countries.