Civil Service on Strike in Chad

Chad President Idriss Deby declared a state of emergency in two eastern provinces

Chad president Idriss Deby Itno speaks at the presidential palace in N'Djamena during a press conference on August 9, 2019 to mark the country's independence day. - "The intercommunal conflict has become a national concern," Deby said. At least 37 people have been killed in fighting the previous days between rival ethnic groups. (Photo by BRAHIM ADJI / AFP)

Workers in Chad’s civil service have embarked on a three-day warning strike to demand the restoration of their salaries which were slashed four years ago.

The civil servants are also demanding the payment of various allowances.

The decision to go on strike was taken in the capital, N’Djamena, during a meeting that brought together the four largest trade unions in the country.

Talks with the Chadian Government had broken down, trade union spokesperson Michel Bakar said.

He added that the strike will run for three days, with members providing minimum services in hospitals.

He said workers will stay at home, but could eventually take to the streets if their grievances are not addressed.

Bakar accused the government of failing to live up to its promises.

Workers downing tools is fairly recurrent in Chad. In 2018, hospitals and schools were shut when civil servants went on strike over pay cuts imposed by the cash-strapped government.

The workers, at the time, demanded payment of their “full salary” after bonuses and allowances were slashed by 50 per cent in January 2018 as part of a package of austerity measures to improve state finances.

A similar 50 per cent cut was introduced in 2016.

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