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Chad public sector back to work after seven-week strike


N’Djamena, Chad | AFP | Civil servants in Chad returned to work on Tuesday after a strike over austerity measures paralysed the impoverished country’s public sector for seven weeks.

Trade unions had called the strike in late January after the government slashed civil servants’ pay, and the whole public sector ground to a halt.

But a deal was struck last week between the government and unions, after two weeks of negotiations.

Work resumed on Tuesday at government ministries and healthcare facilities in the capital N’Djamena, an AFP journalist said.

Teachers and students also slowly headed back to schools.

The deal was made for “the suspension of the strike and the resumption of work” after payments to civil servants, some 31,000 of whom did not receive wages in February.

A union statement on Monday said “having noted the actual payment of wages in N’Djamena and the province, the unions called on all workers to return to work”.

“The return to work is a bit difficult but we are responding to the union’s call,” Mahamat Issa, an official at the finance ministry, told AFP.

Chad, where 40 percent of the 14-million population live in poverty, introduced the austerity measures to meet the requirements of international donors.

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