In Bardo, thousands of workers wave the Tunisian flag in front of the House of Representatives and chanting “Inflation is not an advantage, budget thieves” in opposition to the policies of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and the Ennahda movement, the wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia.
The strike, attended by some 630,000 employees at the invitation of the General Labor Union in Tunisia after the government refused to raise wages, is regarded by the Brotherhood as an unlucky precursor. Workers’ gatherings in Bardo are similar to the sit-in organized by the union five years ago that led to the removal of the Brotherhood-affiliated Troika government headed by former Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh.
Duality of the Brotherhood
When the labor strike touched upon the interests of the Brotherhood in Tunisia, the situation differed and Ennahda rallied its electronic battalions to talk about the security of strikes and disruption to life. The movement issued a statement calling on the government and various parties to resume dialogue and negotiate to ensure the best ways to improve the social conditions of different sectors, noting that negotiations have succeeded in recent months in reaching an agreement on the percentage of increases in the private and public sector institutions.
Despite the statements of various political parties in support of the labor strike, the government of the Chahed, backed by Ennahda, insists on rejecting the demands of the Tunisian Labor Union, stressing that the solution to the crisis will be achieved only by borrowing, tightening tax pressure, preventing the employment of anyone in government institutions, reducing existing workers, and lifting government subsidies on energy.
The duality of the Muslim Brotherhood is reflected in the IMF loan. For example, in Jordan it is described as a “mandate force” and its decisions are “belligerent”, while Ennahda in Tunisia adheres to the measures of international criticism and considers it an economic reform, ignoring the popular movement.
Qais Bin Yahmad, a Tunisian trade union activist, said that the Brotherhood always has a double standard, pointing out that the aim of the strike is to fight against the exploitation of the government and the pragmatism of Ennahda, especially after their mismanagement in the administration of state and public affairs. However, he added that the Tunisian people will not tire in their fight against the corruption of the Muslim Brotherhood.