Education International
Education International

Algerian unionists on hunger strike

published 15 June 2012 updated 20 June 2012

Nine union members from Algerian administration workers’ union SNAPAP have been on hunger strike in Algiers since 6 May. The members of SNAPAP, an EI affiliate, are protesting against repeated human and trade union rights violations.

Despite urgent requests for meetings and daily reports on the strikers’ rapidly deteriorating health, the government continues to refuse to address the judicial workers’ issues. The hunger strikers, five women and four men, began their initiative following a government crackdown on a national protest by judicial workers on 24 April.

Protest broken up

According to a statement issued by the administration workers’ union, security forces violently broke up the peaceful protest, wounding and arresting more than 150, mainly women. Reports of severe police brutality against women held in detention include cases of multiple bone fractures, loss of consciousness, and one woman’s subsequent miscarriage.

Workers in the judicial sector, who are primarily women, have led several protests in recent months against repeated infringements on their right to organise. Consequently, many workers have been denied pay, suspended, transferred or dismissed. Additionally, there have been numerous accounts of verbal and physical harassment of judicial workers.

Show support

EI encourages you to support SNAPAP by adding your voice to the PSI campaign on LabourStart.

Algeria was amongst the countries to be reviewed by the Committee on the Application of Standards at the annual International Labour Organisation Conference in June, for lack of compliance with ILO Convention 87 on freedom of association.

Unfortunately, the International Organisation of Employers’ attack on the CAS has prevented any discussion from taking place (see here for more information).