Cotonou, Bénin - The main trade unions in Benin have called a general strike for Tuesday to protest against human rights abuses following the suppression of a peaceful protest on 27 December last year.
The march against the socio-political situation in Benin, organised by the trade unions, was suppressed by the police leaving several people injured, including leaders of the main trade unions.
In a statement issued in Cotonou on Monday, the trade unions called for 'strict compliance' with measures that grant effective and unhindered enjoyment of democratic and trade union freedom.
Moreover, the trade unions are asking for guaranteed security for all citizens including its leaders as well as judges, heads of civil society organizations, the business community as well opposition political parties.
Other demands of the unions are the outright cancellation of 'fraudulent recruitment' of staff in the Ministry of Finance, a 25% salary increase for workers, including teachers, and an increase in the minimum wage to at least 60,000 francs CFA in the private sector and parastatals.
The unions threw their weight behind the ongoing agitations by judges and workers at university hospitals and emphasized the need for opening of negotiations with the government.