Private sector clothing and footwear workers in Tunisia are among those who will continue to be paid during Covid-19-related closures thanks to an agreement between the government and unions.
The deal struck between the Tunisian General Labour Union, UGTT, which shares affiliates with IndustriAll global union, the employers’ organisation UTICA, and the ministry of social affairs, ensures private sector workers get their full salaries for April.
Tunisia has been under lockdown since 22 March, recently extended until 3 May. The economy has been fully shut down, with only essential services allowed to operate.
Although the majority of companies paid their workers full salaries for March, some workers were paid only partially, and the situation with April wages remained uncertain. Some 1.5m workers employed in Tunisia’s private sector are impacted.
The government will contribute $70 per worker, with the remaining salary paid by employers.
“In the textile sector we are determined to implement this agreement and ensure the full payment of April salaries,” said Habib Hazami, general secretary of the Fédération Générale du Textile, de l’Habillement, Chaussure et Cuir (FGTHCC-UGTT), the union representing textile, clothing, shoe and leather workers.
Speaking to just-style at the end of March, Tunisia’s textile and garment sector warned of major commercial and humanitarian damage because of production stoppages and order cancellations resulting from the ongoing coronavirus crisis.