Tunisia's state agencies, companies closed as workers strike for better wages

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Tunisians demonstrated Thursday in support of the country’s largest Union call to take to it to the street.

Outside the headquarters of the Tunisian General Labour Union protestors salary hikes and concessions on looming reforms.

It is estimated that up to three million workers could observe the strike, closing state agencies and public companies.

Employment Minister Nasreddine Nsibi said the government reserved the right to "requisition" some workers to allow essential services to operate.

The strike comes at a time when President Kais Saied faces intense criticism for excluding opposition forces from his "national dialogue".

Moreover, the government presented a reform plan to International Monetary Fund which includes a freezing the public sector wage bill, cuts to some subsidies and a restructuring of publicly owned companies in order to access a bailout.

The UGTT  has warned against "painful reforms" aimed at pleasing the IMF and demanded guarantees that public companies including some monopolies will be spared privatisation.

In the meantime, the strike has caused cancellations at airports and brought public transport, the postal service and utilities firms to a halt.

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