Attacks against trade unionists have further escalated in Algeria. The Algerian government has taken several steps to undermine the activities and good-functioning of independent trade unions. These include the de-registration of trade unions, personal attacks, harassments, arrests or prosecution.
On 6 February 2018, six activists, including Mr Kaddour Chouicha, national coordinator of SESS (Syndicat des enseignants du supérieur solidaires), will be tried on charges of defamation and inciting an unauthorised gathering, following an aggressive arrest in July 2016 while they were sitting at a café. Other attacks have been made against the independent energy trade union (Syndicat autonome des travailleurs de l'électricité et du gaz - SNATEG). Its legal status was revoked in May 2017.
SOLIDAR would like to show its solidarity with independent trade unions in Algeria. In this respect, SOLIDAR calls on the Algerian government to put an end to the repressive measures taken against independent trade unions, including the ill-treatment and arbitrary arrests of trade unionists. Moreover, SOLIDAR calls for a more open, inclusive and enabling environment. To this end, all barriers to free and independent trade unions should be removed to ensure the protection of fundamental rights and the respect of ILO Convention 87 on freedom of association and protection of the right to organise, that Algeria ratified in 1962.
The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) together with the global unions IndustriALL, PSI and IUF have delivered a joint letter to the Algerian Embassy in Geneva to protest against the imminent trial of trade union leaders affiliated to the General Confederation of Autonomous Workers in Algeria (CGATA).