Government must condemn treatment of Europe’s Trade Union Leader Esther Lynch over her expulsion from Tunisia

19 February 2023

Labour workers’ rights spokesperson Marie Sherlock has condemned the Tunisian government for its expulsion of trade union leader Esther Lynch following a protest against a clamp down on trade union rights.

Senator Sherlock said:

“I am horrified at the shocking news that Esther Lynch was forcibly expelled from Tunisia over her participation in a protest against a clamp down on trade union rights.

“I want to extend my solidarity to her and all those fighting against this attempted corrosion of workers’ rights.

“The Irish Government must condemn the Tunisian State for its actions and take a strong stance against any attempt to water down the rights of any peoples at home or abroad.

“Esther is a former ICTU official and now is Secretary General of European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), which represents millions of workers across Europe.

“Tunisia was one of the real bright hopes after the Arab Spring. However in recent years it has become increasingly authoritarian.

“There has been a sustained campaign of harassment and intimidation of trade unionists in Tunisia and the protest organised yesterday was by the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT). It is deeply shocking and an affront to people’s right to protest and stand up for what’s right.

“The societies and economies that do best are those where people are free to join and engage in trade unions. Such a marked effort to diminish the power of trade unions is a deeply chilling move.”

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