The Statement of the National Administrative Commission of the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT)
1. The General Union of Tunisian Workers is a national organization necessarily interested in political affairs, given its history of struggle during the colonial epoch and the period of the construction of the modern state, considering the dialectical links among economy, society, politics, and culture in the process of development, but out task has become more urgent than ever.
2. The UGTT National Administrative Commission recalls that the withdrawal of UGTT ministers from the government is due to the government’s failure to respond to the conditions set by the UGTT Executive Office in its 15 January 2011 statement, a position whose correctness has been proven and which corresponds to the demands of masses of demonstrators and the rest of the civil and political society.
3. In view of massive demonstrations across the country demanding the dissolution of the government and rejecting the participation of RCD representatives in it; also in view of numerous resignations in response to the rejection by various political parties and currents; and because of the urgent need to restore the confidence of all in order to proceed to the effective preparation for the reforms that have been announced; the members of the UGTT National Administrative Commission demand the dissolution of the government and the establishment of a “national salvation” coalition government which responds to the demands of demonstrators, political parties, associations, NGOs, and all the people.
4. The National Administrative Commission decides, with a view to effectively taking part in a commission for political reforms, to create trade union committees composed of experts and specialists to work out UGTT proposals on political, economic, and social reforms necessary for the establishment of democracy, as well as transparent elections to ensure the freedom of choice, to lay the foundations for a parliamentary government, and to permit dissemination of accurate information. Moreover, the UGTT demands that members of its National Administrative Commission be represented in the commission of inquiry on the killings of innocent citizens during demonstrations, to bring those responsible for them to justice, and be also represented in the commission of inquiry on corruption and other crimes.
5. The UGTT calls upon all workers to oppose all attempts to disrupt the normal functioning of institutions and to obstruct their return to normal activity, as well as to be on guard in defense of our achievements and to ensure the continuation of necessary mechanisms for the management and conduct of daily functions, in order to preserve the vital interests of the people and to avoid the vacuum that does lasting damage to workers and citizens.
6. The UGTT reaffirms its commitment to continue to wage the legitimate struggle, whether by striking or demonstrating peacefully, until the government is restructured according to the conditions set by the UGTT, which correspond to the demands of all segments of the political spectrum as well as of the people.
7. The UGTT demands that the 14th of January be proclaimed as national holiday, for the public and private sectors, for civil service, and for all the sectors of people.
8. The UGTT urgently appeals to all trade unionists and workers to preserve the unity of their organization in order to ensure the continuity of the struggle and achieve the workers’ demands, in interaction with the demands of protesters and the general public, and to remain vigilant against all attempts to split our ranks and to divide the unity of our decisions at this sensitive stage in the history of our country.
Long live the struggle of our brave people on the path to dignity in Tunisia.
Tunis, 21 January 2011
The original statement in Arabic was published on the UGTT Web site: www.ugtt.org.tn/actualitees-details.php?id=625. A summary French translation is available at 24sur24.posterous.com/tunisie-le-syndicat-tunisien-ugtt-demande-la, and a summary Spanish translation at rebelion.org/noticia.php?id=120884.