Morocco : Gov’t and Labor unions negotiate

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This week the Moroccan government and labor unions began a second round of negotiations. The main subjects of concern included the decrease of income tax from 42% to 38% in 2008 and 35% in 2009, the exemption of taxes for low wage earners, and the appreciation of pension schemes.

By Kaci Racelma our North African correspondent

The government showed interest for other issues, such as the application of the employment law and labor union liberties .

Labor unions have launched a wave of strikes across the country over the past few weeks to show the seriousness of their demands to the Moroccan government.

According to sources within the labor unions themselves, the government is not indifferent to the complaints presented by workers’ representatives. They indicated that the government has proposed an increment of the minimum wage and welfare benefits and has also promised to decrease income taxes.

Labor unions, however, claim these propositions do not correspond with their demands, thereby showing their dissatisfaction and determination to pursue protests until their demands are met.

The minister of employment took account of certain categories of workers with limited income, asserting the government’s willingness to take measures to improve social-security benefits for civil servants such as health care and stable prices for basic necessities, among others.

The Moroccan government aims to increase the income of the working class, institutionalize social dialogs as well as encouraging labor-union liberties and actions through financial and organizational support.

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