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Sudan's trade union leaders predict increase in strikes

Employees of higher education institutions in Khartoum continued their strike for the fourth week, demanding better wages (social media)
Employees of higher education institutions in Khartoum continued their strike for the fourth week, demanding better wages (social media)

Trade union leaders predict an increase in strikes in various parts of the country due to the deteriorating living conditions, poor wages, and salary adjustments. At least eight different strikes are happening in the country at the moment.

Trade union leader Mahjoub Kanari told Radio Dabanga yesterday that the current union void is one of the most important reasons for the current strikes.

Most of the trade unions were directly associated with the ousted regime of Omar Al Bashir (1989-2019). They were dissolved in 2019 by the new Council of Ministers, headed by former Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok, as part of legal reforms to dismantle the former dictatorial regime.

Kanari referred to a state of “feeling unfairness and injustice” among the workers, explaining that the government was unable to deal with the economic and legal problems.

He warned against any unsystematic or unrealistic treatment of the salaries and said that this could lead to disastrous results.

He called for a comprehensive treatment of the issue of remuneration by allowing re-instatement of independent unions and restructuring the tripartite mechanism made up of the government, the private sector, and trade unions.

Ongoing strikes

At least eight different strikes are currently happening in Sudan. The Judicial Authority Staff Association announced the continuation of their strike calling for better allowances. Employees of higher education institutions in Khartoum also continued their strike for the fourth week, demanding better wages.

In Nyala, capital of South Darfur, staff of the state Ministry of Finance organised a protest sit-in demanding better wages. In East Darfur, meanwhile, the Medical and Health Personnel Coordination threaten to lay down their tools in the event that the salaries are not paid according to the new salary structure for this month and or if the unpaid differences in the previous months are not paid.

In eastern Sudan’s Kassala, staff members of civil service institutions continued their strike for the third week, demanding the implementation of the salary structure agreed upon.

In Port Sudan, Red Sea state, the strike of health sector workers continued for the third day, which led to the complete paralysis of health facilities throughout the state. Members of the High Council of Beja Nazirs* and Independent Chieftains also continued their sit-in in front of the Red Sea state government secretariat buildings, demanding the dismissal of the governor alongside other demands.

Meanwhile, civil servants in South Kordofan announced the renewal of their strike for a week, starting from May 30 until June 5, to demand better remuneration and a better work environment.

Muslim Bereir, head of the strikers' committee, told Radio Dabanga that the deadline set by the strike committee after handing over the demand note to the deputy governor expired last week without any progress being made in implementing the demands.

He explained that the deputy governor acknowledged the demands, but he held the federal authorities responsible.

Muslim announced that all public servants in the various institutions in the state would go on a comprehensive strike, which started yesterday, May 30, and is set to last until Sunday, June.

Cashiers are an exception to the strike as they have to pay the salaries.

* A nazir is a state-appointed administrative chief of a tribe or clan, according to the Native Administration system in Sudan.

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