Mali Workers Begin 72-Hour Strike From Wednesday


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The National Union of Workers of Mali (UNTM), the largest trade union in the country, is observing a 72-hour strike started on Wednesday, after the failure of negotiations with the government, the general-secretary, Yacouba Katilé, has announced.

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“The UNTM waited for the government for more than 10 days to find a common ground. Unfortunately, we could not find a common ground during the negotiations that began only 48 hours before D-day,” Katilé said during a press briefing.

Among the UNTM’s demands are the granting of allowances, the harmonisation of pay scales through equal opportunities, equal pay for equal work through single grid per category.

Katilé said the UNTM had explored all regulations in this area before launching the strike, and explained that the trade union centre had respected the 15-day period preceding the strike.

“Despite this goodwill, the government waited until 13 November to restart negotiations. We have done everything in Mali for peace to reign, despite the criticism,” explained the general secretary.

He appealed to “all his comrades” to respect the watchword throughout the country.

In Bamako, on Wednesday morning, traffic flowed easily unlike the monster traffic jams of normal days.

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“The workers preferred to stay at home, responding to the call for a strike by the UNTM,” said a trade union leader.

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