WFTU announcement about the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in Arab countries
Fight Back News Service is circulating the following May 13 statement from the World Federation of Trade Unions.
The World Federation of Trade Unions follows the developments about the situation of workers of Arab countries, which is being deteriorated due to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Except for the consequences on their health, the workers are called to pay the price for the consequences that the Pandemic and the lockdowns have brought upon to the economies of their countries.
In Algeria, Air Algeria plans to reduce the salaries of its employees. In Jordan, the government reduced the salaries of 100.000 workers on the occasion of the Pandemic. In Qatar, Air Qatar has announced to the workers the intention to lay off a big part of them. In Tunisia, many job positions have been suspended with the workers with short-term contracts being the first victims of unemployment. In Lebanon, the COCA COLA factory will close down until the end of May. In all Arab countries poverty, unemployment and insecurity are on the rise.
Under these circumstances, the WFTU calls upon the workers to struggle inside and outside the workplaces, for the protection of their Health, for the immediate covering of all shortages in staff and infrastructure of the Public Health System. For the preservation of job positions; no worker must lose his/her job. Against the cuts in their salaries and rights.
The big business groups, the monopolies, the airlines, the big hotel owners, do not have other interest than the continuation of their profitability. While they had turnovers of trillions, now they are threatening with lay-offs, salary cuts or even closure, because they saw their profit margins being decreased. But their profits come from the work of their employees, who work under harsh exploitation.
In their largest part, the governments’ budgets are based on the taxation of workers and the People, so governments have the responsibility to immediately equip the Public Hospitals with all the necessary supplies for the struggle against the Coronavirus and take measures of support for the unemployed, the workers and the People in general.
We call on workers of the Arab countries to strengthen the participation in their trade-unions, to enhance their struggle for the protection of their health, their work, with improvement of their working conditions. The workers and popular strata must not pay for the crisis!