Breaking the Authoritarian Deadlock: Tunisian Communist Party’s Role in Labour Activism

Autore: Daniela Melfa
In: Africa. N.S. IV/2, 2022
Acquista PDF Acquista PDF Acquista PDF

The article investigates the propulsive role of Tunisian Communists within the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) after independence. Confronted with authoritarianism, the Tunisian Communist Party looked at trade unions as a viable arena to pursue political objectives, thus conforming to the line of the international movement of Communist and workers’ parties. Archive materials, newspaper articles and oral sources shed lights on the commitment of the Communist minority that joined in force the UGTT since the mid-1960s. Initially tense, the relationships improved in conjunction with the general strike of 26 January 1978 which represented the high point of workers’ protest and, in Communist eyes, class struggle. If traces of Communist impact on the UGTT may be found, the internal pluralism of Tunisian labour movement is still to be recognised.

keywords: tunisian general labour union; tunisian communist party; workers’ protests; black thursday; union autonomy