Tunisian protesters have blockaded the workers inside the building of Britain’s BG Group, Tunisia’s largest natural gas producer, and obstructed the factory’s operation.
The action speeded up weeks-long arguments over jobs at BG and has underlined uncertainty about Tunisia’s economy four months after a popular revolution toppled the country’s President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and triggered similar uprisings in some Arab countries.
BG Group, which is located around the southern town of Nakta, has warned the Tunisian officials that it would close its plants in Tunisia unless the government puts an end to the protests.
The company said in a statement that the protesters blockaded the company’s employees at the site for about 48 hours, but that it was generally a peaceful protest.
The residents have been forcing the company to employ local people, rather than using the foreign staff. Accordingly, the company said that it would fund 60 jobs for the local residents and suggested microcredits to the local population.
BG Group is Tunisia’s largest producer of gas, and according to its website, it accounts for over 60 percent of the country’s domestic gas production.