Algerian civil servants on strike

ALGIERS, Apr 06, 2011 (AFP) – Some 80 percent of Algerian public employees were on strike Wednesday, with local government hardest hit, their union leader said amid widespread labour unrest in the country.

Belgacem Felfoul told the Chaine III public radio station that an 11-point list of demands for better pay and conditions had been deposited with the government, and warned of more strikes if they were not satisfied.

Meanwhile members of the auxiliary security militia kept up a sit-in at Martyrs Square in the capital, despite threats of sacking from Interior Minister Dahou Ould Kablia.

They are demanding increases in pay and pensions, integration into the regular security forces and the rehiring of colleagues who have been laid off.

The militia, an auxiliary police force created during the anti-Islamist war of the 1990s to 2005, numbers about 94,000 men.

Specialist doctors in hospitals are also on an open-ended strike started more than two weeks ago, demanding among other things an end to obligatory work periods of between one and four years in remote regions on completion of their studies.

Students at universities across Algeria are skipping classes in a protest that started in February to demand parity between old and new degrees delivered by the higher education authorities.

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