Ei-iE

Morocco: teachers strike after violent protests

published 1 April 2011 updated 5 April 2011

Teacher unionists in Morocco have staged a two-day nationwide strike after recent demonstrations for better benefits ended in violence.

One of EI’s national affiliates, the Syndicat national de l'enseignement(SNE-FDT), together with the Fédération nationale des fonctionnaires de l'enseignement(UNTM) and the Fédération nationale de l'enseignement(UMT), called on members to protest in the capital Rabat, from 29-29 March, the outcome of an earlier demonstration, in which they claim 165 people were hurt, 65 seriously, including people with broken limbs or gashes from beatings by police. Unions said 50 were taken to hospital. Interior Ministry and police officials declined to comment on the violence.

In a joint statement, unions say that “to show their solidarity with the teachers and condemn the barbarous way the peaceful demonstration of teachers was suppressed, they will stage a 48-hour strike.” They also demand that an investigation be opened into the police’s violent repression against teachers, who were voicing their concern about the national education system’s reform and demanding increased status and salaries depending on diplomas for teachers.

According to SNE-FDT, the strike participation’s rate on 29 March was 95%. Thousands of teachers were expected to take part in a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Education on 30 March.

EI urges Moroccan authorities to respect teachers’ trade union rights and ensure that investigations will be undertaken into the recent clash between police forces and teachers.