The curtain came down, Thursday evening, on the 22nd National Congress of the UGTT with the election of a new Executive Board to be headed by the new Secretary General, Houcine Abassi.
Is this a turning point in the action that the trade union plans to conduct at a time when challenges faced by Tunisia are increasing and worsening and the Revolution of January 14 has created a new reality that requires fresh approaches and new vocations for each other?
Early on, we will not fail to note what seems to us to be the idea which the labor organization has always embraced and that was firmly stated in the general motion passed by the Congress, namely that the UGTT “was and will forever remain” a force of activism and building for a better future of Tunisia.
This is clearly one of the few vectors of continuity that marked the union action, which seems, in fact, as it was moving to other axes of two kinds: one political and one economic. The political one is the unambiguous statement that the UGTT seeks to play a major political role as a full partner and with whom it needs to deal with.
The early signs of this role emerge in the “hope” expressed to see the next Constitution of the Republic establish the sovereignty of the people, through the separation of powers and the peaceful transfer of power to meet the aspirations of the Tunisian people and place Tunisia among developed nations that enjoy freedom, democracy, equity and decent life, and make it a country embedded in Arab-Islamic identity, while remaining open to universal values.
We will see in it less a profession of faith and adherence to shared values than the expression of a clear will of the trade union to seek support from other components of the political establishment and social forces, namely the various parties political organizations and associations that share the same principles and objectives for an action that is consistent with the role of supporting the civil society’s work, “the aim being to develop the political life in order to actively contribute to discussions on development choices and thus achieve the aspirations of the Tunisian people. ”
More concretely and specifically, the new government is called, if not ordered, to adopt an employment policy with clear outlines through the review of the system of labor relations, the establishment of a constructive and responsible social dialogue and promoting regions to the status of active development poles, by giving them more autonomy.
Referring to the Revolution of January 14 “as perfect example of the rejection by Tunisians of liberal choices that have continued to widen the gaps and disparities between regions and to generate additional difficulties for domestic firms, resulting in an employment crisis, “the union insists on” the dynamics that has allowed the labor organization to move forward towards the realization of the historic achievements, through the elimination of the formula of sub-contracting in the public sector and identifying alternative solutions to poor social classes, in addition to revising the purchasing power of employees as part of responsibility, taking into account the specificities of national circumstances. ”
Moreover, the UGTT believed that the economic situation in the country requires unifying ranks to serve Tunisia, away from narrow political calculations and attempts to damage the reputation of the labor organization in imputing to it alone the responsibility of deterioration of the situation.
Finally, another exhortation: it calls for the revision of the Investment Incentives Code, urging building a national economy based on the protection of national investors, away from all forms of speculation, and establishing a suitable legislative framework and transparent investment climate guaranteed by an independent judiciary that works away from political and financial spheres.