Yemeni laborers on strike [Archives:2005/874/Front Page]

September 5 2005

Amel Mohammed Al-Ariqi
Yemen Times Staff

Sept 3 – Sana'a, YT: The General Federation of Yemen Workers' Trade Union GFYWTU declared on 3rd September in an extraordinary meeting with the leaders of its sub-committees its rejection of the new Strategic law nr.43 for the year 2005 concerning employment and wages. The Union described this strategy as a breach of the international treatments and the Yemeni constitution and that it doesn't meet the minimum standard. The Union demanded negotiation with the government to discuss the wages policy, employment issues, retirement and other fundamental issues that concern laborers. The Union stated the 15th of September as deadline for the government to start this negotiation, otherwise it will use its own right of calling the workers in the public, private and mixed sector to express their objection in suitable way.

The GFYWTU released a statement in which it mentioned that consecutive governments failed to enforce executive laws in line with international conventions and treaties of the World Labor Organization WLO that Yemen has already ratified. According to the statement, this failure created a very complex economic situation increasing unemployment rates to exceed 45%.

The Union asserted that the economic reform program recently adopted by the government should not be implemented at the expense of laborer's rights, stressing that no development can be achieved without social justice.

Worth mentioning is that many international and Arab trade unions such as the General Federation of Trade Unions in Syrian Arab Republic, Kuwait Trade Union Federation and the International Confederation of Free Trade Union ICFTU have displayed their support the GFYWTU through sending messages to the president Ali Abdullh Salah and Abdulkader Bajmal the Prime Minster demanding reconsideration of the new strategy. “as it is an established fact that Yemen is sliding further towards higher unemployment rates and widespread poverty, and international pressure such as the one currently exercised by the World Bank therefore increases, there is all the more reason to involve the GFYWTU and maintain sound industrial Relations in Yemen ” ICFTU said .

The GFYWTU represents 350 thousands Yemeni laborers who belong to 14 trades unions working in the public, private and mixed sectors. Most of these unions have threatened the government to go on strike against the new strategy of wages.