Friday, January 05, 2007

Guinean trade unions to resume general strike, hint at military coup

Guinea's main trade union collective, CNTG-USTG, has announced that it will launch an unlimited national general strike starting on Jaunary 10.

The unions' communiqué (the text is available here in French) cited a number of reasons for their decision, including what it describes as:

-The interference of the head of state into judicial affairs by illegally liberating citizens in conflict with the law, particularly those accused of corruption and graft,

-The inability to the government to stop the continued depreciation of the Guinean franc, which aggravates inflation and hurts the purchasing power of workers,

-The government's violation of Article 18 of the Guinean constitution regarding the independance of labor organizations and

-The indifference of other national institutions (Supreme Court, National Assembly, Economic and Social Council) toward this state of affairs.

The communiqué also the following quixotic reference in explaining its decision to strike...

"Given the that the valliant Guinean army will continue to play its role and defend the hard working people of Guinea in distress..."

A call which some might interpret as an appeal for the military to stage a coup d'État.

Update: A high ranking official of the CNTG insists that his union 'will never encourage a military coup d'Etat.'


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