Public sector workers in Tunisia strike over low pay as thousands join street protests across the country


Some 650,000 public sector workers in Tunisia are striking over low pay and thousands have joined street protests across the country.

The government has refused to increase wages and is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reduce its deficit.

It is the biggest strike in five years – schools, universities and local government offices have shut their doors, while hospitals are providing only emergency staffing.

Tunisia’s economy has struggled since Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, who led Tunisia for 23 years, was toppled amid an unprecedented wave of protests in 2011 that was sparked by anger at high unemployment and poverty.