TUNIS – Over the past fortnight, Tunis is invaded by garbage as a result of a strike by municipal workers who protest against “poverty salaries” and demand the tenure of temporary and contract staff.
Heat rises, smells too. At every street corner, mountains of hundreds of garbage bags ripped open, overflowing the sidewalks onto the roadway, obstructing pedestrians and motorists.
“I am sad to see all this dirt and see the country of jasmine invaded by garbage and bad smell,” said Slim, a trader in Marseille Street, in the city centre.
Every day he tries to push the huge blue and black garbage bags that are gaining ground in front of his small shop while cursing against municipal officials who “leave the streets in this terrible state with their strike.”
“Frankly they have not chosen the right time to demand increases, the country goes through a crisis and they are not aware of it,” he grumbles.
“The revolution has changed nothing for us. We are still poor and forgotten by those officials,” added Abdelmajid, another officer of the municipality.
“We will not stall until they (the authorities) regulate our situation, we are not asking for increases immediately but at least they carry out our tenure,” he warned.
On 10 February, the municipality of Tunis has announced its decision to “permanent appointments of all temporary and contractors staff from the month of February.”
“This decision was not implemented under the pretext that there is not enough money, we are not asking for millions, tenure only,” shouted Salem, municipal agent for 22.