Thousands of workers in Morocco’s three trade union federations waged a general strike Wednesday to protest the government’s refusal to discuss fundamental worker issues such as working conditions, pensions and other benefits.
manufacturing, commerce and agriculture, along with private-sector employees, took to the streets after many attempts to engage the government in collective bargaining.
The first-ever joint strike involving the Confédération Démocratique du Travail (CDT), the Union Marocain du Travail (UMT) and the Fédération Démocratique du Travail (FDT) highlighted worker frustration with the lack of dialogue. Workers also protested the government freezing salaries and benefits while raising taxes. The economic squeeze is exacerbated by the skyrocketing cost of consumer goods.
Workers also called out corporations for their selective application of Morocco’s labor code, saying many employers only abide by a few provisions and ignore key regulations such as those covering workplace health and safety and medical coverage.
The workers are demanding the government:
• Decrease taxes on wages and consumption,
• Retract the law that criminalizes union activity,
• Provide citizens with adequate public services,
• Guarantee secure and stable employment and cease hiring workers for precarious subcontracted or temporary jobs,
• End ongoing freedom of association violations, which include dismissing union leaders and firing large numbers of workers, and
• Address the concerns of retired workers struggling to survive on pensions.