The UGTT: caught between struggle and betrayal

The Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail (UGTT - Tunisian General Labour Union), the sole union in Tunisia up to now, has for many years played an ambiguous role as part of the dictatorial state apparatus with multiple links to the ruling party while being at the same time the centre of combative, independent trade unionism.

Both poles have coexisted because they needed each other. The UGTT's bureaucratic leadership apparatus has needed, and now needs more than ever, this veneer of militancy and struggle that the militant sector gives the union in order to maintain its share of power within the state apparatus and to survive the dictatorship in circumstances such as those at present.