CCOO and UGTT fight for the right to maternity leave in Tunisia

The trade union centres are strengthening their close cooperation, which dates back fourteen years, with the announcement of a joint study on the structural discrimination faced by women workers in Tunisia.

On 8 March 2021, the International and Cooperation Secretariat of Comisiones Obreras (CCOO), Spain, and the Peace and Solidarity Foundation (Fundació Pau i Solidaritat) of CCOO Catalunya, gave a detailed presentation of their cooperation project “Tackling precarious work: promoting labour human rights and the social and solidarity economy in Tunisia”, set out in a cooperation agreement signed with the Tunisian union centre UGTT in 2018.

The project, coordinated by the Peace and Solidarity Foundation of CCOO Catalunya, the UGTT and the Cooperation for Peace Assembly (Assemblea de Cooperació per la Pau), and funded by the Catalan Agency for Development Cooperation, was conceived in response to issues such as the economic violence women suffer in the form of discrimination and precarious employment, vulnerability and exclusion from the labour market. Its focus is on promoting women’s economic and social rights through Tunisia’s trade union organising spaces and empowering them, politically, to demand respect for their rights and access on equal terms

A number of meetings have been held within this framework, leading to the joint preparation and drafting of a research study, to be presented in May, which analyses the legislative inequalities in maternity leave regulations according to the employment sector in Tunisia.
The study will serve as a valuable advocacy tool, establishing a framework for examining the legal situation in Tunisia, and will contribute to establishing strategic guidelines for trade union action to achieve new maternity leave regulations based on the conventions of the International Labour Organization (ILO).

CCOO and UGTT: 14 years of fraternal cooperation

back to 2008. It was then, 14 years ago, that the first joint project was launched and the first coordination office of the CCOO’s Serafin Aliaga Peace and Solidarity Foundation was opened in Tunisia. Since then, and throughout all these years, the CCOO has had the privilege of being able to closely follow the Tunisian trade union movement’s involvement in the country’s political, social and economic development, observing how it has earned a place in the history of the Arab peoples and humanity, thanks to its good work and its unfailing role in historic struggles for democracy.

Ten years later, in 2018, the general secretary of the CCOO, Unai Sordo, and the general secretary of the UGTT, Noureddine Taboubi, renewed the commitment to these trade union ties with the signing of a very ambitious protocol containing many proposals that are more necessary now than ever before in the context of this very challenging moment in the history of humanity, with a pandemic that has transformed our lives.

Since then, the organisations’ joint efforts have been geared towards promoting a new, fair and sustainable economic development model, in which the fundamental rights and principles of decent work and the ILO’s international labour standards are universally guaranteed, along with real gender equality, the protection of the environment and the reduction of all forms of inequality – in line with the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The CCOO and UGTT have worked very closely, as members of the Trade Union Network on Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Migration, coordinated by the UGTT, on issues linked to labour migration and trade union advocacy to shape national and international migration policies. Similarly, they have supported all the initiatives required within the framework of the International Trade Union Confederation and the European Trade Union Confederation to promote democratic trade unionism in Southern and Northern Mediterranean countries, placing special emphasis on labour and trade union rights.



For more information
Esther Caballé i Pallares, Director, Pau i Solidaritat (ecaballe[@]
Alejandra Ortega Fuentes, Officer responsible for arab countries, Africa and Asia with CCOO’s International and Cooperation Secretariat (aortega[@]