About 800 workers employed by the Algiers Urban and Suburban Transport Enterprise (ETUSA) walked out on indefinite strike on Tuesday. They are demanding the rigorous implementation of their contracts (which would mean a substantial pay rise) and the resignation of the director general of ETUSA.
The strikers include bus drivers, tram drivers, ticket collectors and mechanics. They are also unhappy with their UGTA union. They staged a sit-down protest outside the union HQ this week, demanding the resignation of the general secretary.
The strikers complaints about their working conditions include the lack of an affiliation to a social security scheme, contracts limited to a maximum of three years, and vindictive sackings by management of union activists.
The strikers say their low pay is actually illegal. Their basic salary is 13,000 DA, but the law says that the minimum salary of public sector workers should by 18,000 DA. One protestor said "We've knocked on all doors for many years, and never got any response. We are fed up"