19 Oct 2012

Algeria: strikers win with militant action

Bus and tram workers employed by the Algiers Urban and Suburban Transport Enterprise (ETUSA) walked out on indefinite strike on Tuesday. They were demanding a minimum salary of 18,000 DA, the resignation of the director general of ETUSA – and even the resignation of the leader of their union, who they feel is in the pocket of management.
They returned to work on Wednesday afternoon, having won a significant pay rise, and the resignation of their union leader, Mr Boutebba. He was extremely unpopular, and workers reacted to his departure with joy. 2,000 union members had signed a petition demanding that he go. One striker said "This is a real victory for us – after we got rid of this rotten man we can move forward on all our demands."
Their pay rise takes their basic salary from 12,000 DA to 14,250 DA, backdated to May. Many strikers expressed scepticism over the new pay offer, and said it still wasn't enough. A return to strike action is not ruled out.

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