Labour unions in Guinea on Monday started a general strike following failed negotiations between their management and government.
The strike paralyzed activities in the country’s capital, Conakry and other cities.
Government spokesperson, Damantang Albert Camara said he regrets the action taken by the union.
Nothing has changed, we shall go on strike.
“The strike will have a huge impact on our economy. It’s been two years since we went through a difficult period due to the outbreak of Ebola and economic recession.”
Banks, schools, markets and the transport sector were shut as they all heeded the call from the Secretary of the Union of Workers of Guinea ( USTG), Louis Mbemba Soumah.
“Nothing has changed, we shall go on strike. It is inevitable and necessary; it will help us to build,” he said.
The union said the 2015 and 2016 agreements with government have not been kept.
They are calling for a reduction in fuel prices and revision of the pension plan. They also want the establishment of a National Welfare fund and a compulsory health insurance institute for civil servants.
“The drawing up or revision of collective agreements (private sector, media, health, education, telecommunications, service delivery), the removal of non-conventional roadblocks and police hassle, and road transport safety” are all part of their demands.
The Public Service International (PSI) has also expressed solidarity with the trade unions in Guinea saying they support their demands.
PSI in its letter to the union, called on the government to respect the 2015 agreement and the union’s claims for 2016.