Already hit by a serious contraction in demand in Europe, Morocco's textile trade is now having to cope with a spate of industrial action.

AMITH, the trade body for Moroccan textile and clothing manufacturers, claims labour disputes have become more common since the PJD political party came to power. National workers' union UNTM is affiliated to the PJD.

Globally, the industrial relations climate deteriorated sharply in Morocco last year, with the number of strikes almost doubling across all business sectors.

In the region of Tangiers, there are reports that five plants have been affected, with workers blocking deliveries and goods for export in protest at the non-payment of wages during temporary lay-offs.

Moroccan trade has been particularly hard hit by worsening economic conditions in Spain, where many of its customers are situated.

AMITH has called on the Moroccan government to help its members find new outlets for their products, such as Northern Europe, by focusing on representation at trade shows.

It painted a grim picture of the sector, underlining that with the crisis in Europe weighing on order books, some Moroccan firms faced rising debts and a struggle to survive.

In October last year, AMITH revealed that a number of customers in Europe had cut their orders by close to 30%, largely due to the financial crisis surrounding the euro.