Ministerial meeting with members of El Kamour coordination team fails
13/08/2020 20:42, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - A ministerial delegation composed of Minister of Energy, Mining and Energy Transition Mongi Marzouk and Minister of Vocational Training and Employment Fathi Belhaj failed to reach an agreement with members of the El Kamour sit-in coordination at a meeting held Thursday in Tataouine.

The members of the El Kamour Coordination expressed their disappointment at the offer made by the two ministers, considering that it does not meet their minimum expectations and the provisions of the El Kamour agreement, signed on June 16, 2017.

During this meeting, held in the absence of the local governor and representatives of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the members of the El Kamour coordination said the government's treatment of the region's demands and the El Kamour agreement "is not serious", does not help to revive overall development in the region and is not equal to the sacrifices made by the youth and martyrs of El Kamour.

The members of the coordination have accused successive governments of having humiliated the local residents and deprived them of the wealth of their region".

They recalled, in this regard, the negative indicators recorded in various aspects of life in the region, particularly the unemployment rate which has increased.

The members of the coordination committee refused 250 jobs in oil companies (production and services) over the next three years, as well as the creation of an agricultural enterprise to replace the recruitment of 500 workers in the Environment, Planting and Gardening Company, which will start implementing a new approach from March 2021 and needs 36 million dinars per year to pay the workers.

The proposal submitted by the two ministers and approved by the small Cabinet meeting on the implementation of the El Kamour agreement provides for recruitment in oil companies according to a timetable that extends over the years 2021, 2022 and 2023, without providing precise figures, according to the members of the coordination, who rejected it.

It was also proposed to break with the model of environmental companies, as these are "half measures that invest in precarious employment and do not produce wealth", according to the members of the coordination.

The aim is to restructure them from January 1, 2021, and create companies and specialised sections in the productive sectors according to a work programme proposed by the current directorate of the environmental company and approved by the ministry in charge, they said.

For his part, Minister of Vocational Training and Employment Fathi Belhaj told TAP no agreement was reached at this meeting.

"We have come to clarify some ambiguities. There are recommendations that cannot be implemented at present," he said, noting that Tataouine needs a comprehensive vision of development.

Minister of Energy, Mining and Energy Transition Mongi Marzouk said in a statement to TAP "the outcome of the meeting was 'disappointing'," saying: "we wanted, in this difficult period, to find a solution to the El Kamour agreement and for companies to contribute to the implementation of this agreement.

Official spokesman for the El Kamour sit-in Tarek Haddad said the offer made by the government delegation was more akin to “a farce.”

He said the El Kamour coordination committee is "determined not to reopen the local oil pumping station as long as their demands remain unmet.

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