Burundian unions, civil society call for one-day general strike to protest high living cost
BUJUMBURA, March 23 (Xinhua) -- Burundian labor union confederations and civil society organizations have called upon workers in all the east African country's sectors to stay home on Tuesday, arguing that their claims did not get "satisfactory" answers, a statement said on Friday.
COSYBU and CSB labor union confederations in conjunction with civil society organizations are protesting against ailing deteriorating economic living conditions of the Burundian population. They said the conditions were notably caused by repetitive hikes of water and electricity tariffs, non-payment of taxes by the country's dignitaries on their salaries.
They also complained that there was a lack of a dialogue framework where they would give their contribution to improving the population's living conditions.
"Considering that our claims didn't get satisfactory answers, we invite workers in all the country's sectors to stage a peaceful strike by staying at their homes on Tuesday March, 27, 2012," said COSYBU Chairman Tharcisse Gahungu who spoke on behalf of union confederations and civil society organizations.
Gahungu said the boycott is explained by the high living cost that Burundians are facing these days.
The union confederations and the civil society organizations have decided to stage the general strike after several attempts of easing tension in order to avoid the strike.
Since Tuesday, Burundian government officials met representatives of labor union confederations and leaders and civil society organizations in the presence of diplomats accredited to Burundi and representatives of international organizations. But the unions and the civil society said that there was no "breakthrough" in the talks.
In their warning notice filed at the country's civil service and labor ministry on March 15, the labor union confederations and civil society organizations had urged the suspension of the increase of tariffs at the Water and Electricity Company REGIDESO up to 50 percent and the reintroduction at the parliament of the bill on taxes on salaries of dignitaries.
They had also urged a dialogue framework to help the government
find ways of improving the population's living conditions.