Algerian union organises unemployment forum - but authorities harass and expel participants

February 26, 2013
Police confronting demonstrators in Algeria
PSI affiliate SNAPAP, together with representatives of unemployed graduates and young precarious workers from Tunisia and Morocco, organised a meeting of the North African Union to Fight Unemployment and Precarious Work in Algeria on 19-21 February. However, the Algerian authorities prevented anyone from entering or leaving the meeting venue. They also raided the hotel where trade unionists were staying and arrested five Moroccans, three Tunisians and three Mauritians, who were taken directly to the airport and deported, without being able to inform their families.

The police also arrested Abdelkader Kherba, a member of the Algerian League for the Defence of Human Rights (LADDH) and the National committee to Defend the Rights of the Unemployed (CNDDC), together with three members of the SNAPAP National Executive.

Public Services International has written to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika in protest of the harassment and attacks on the trade unionists and calling for the release of those arrested. PSI urges the Algerian authorities to recognise that the action of the unions in reducing unemployment is a vital step towards ensuring the future of democracy in the region.