Tunisia: Baker Strike Portends Difficult Road to Economic Reform

by | Oct 20, 2022 | Economic, Tunisia


On 19 October 2022, the chairmen of the National Chamber of Bakery Owners announced a general strike by bakers across Tunisia. The strike was intended to highlight frustrations among the countries bakers with not receiving their expected subsidies, which are reported to amount to $76 million dollars. A small group of bakers gathered for a sit-in at the headquarters of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) on the afternoon of 19 October. By the morning of 20 October, bakery closures were reported across the country.


Frustration from Tunisian bakers with the failure to receive government subsidies likely signals the difficult road ahead for the country’s leaders as they pursue meaningful economic reform. Despite the stipulations from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that will accompany an agreed-upon $1.9 billion loan, including for reform of the current approach to subsidies, many workers across Tunisia’s economy are unprepared to absorb such significant changes. With heavy dependence on government intervention to sustain supply chains and operations, the frustration among bakers is likely merely the beginning of the public outcry against the coming moves toward austerity.