In a nationwide strike by Tunisia’s main trade union confederation on Thursday, flights were canceled, public transport ground to a halt and government offices were closed.
Halting work at 159 state agencies and public companies to demand concessions on salaries and threatened reforms, the UGTT had called on up to three million public sector workers to strike.
Post offices and public utilities were closed in the capital Tunis, where the protests appeared to be widely observed.
Police were present in large numbers outside UGTT headquarters as strikers began to gather for a rally.
Public television played repeats and carried an announcement that staff were taking part in the strike.
The strike comes as Tunisia faces its worst financial crisis and is seeking a $4 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
With more than a million members, the UGTT calls for wage increases for state workers as inflation reached a record level of 7.5 percent in April, from 7.2 percent in March and 7 percent in February.
Since July 25, 2021, when President Kais Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority, Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis.
The move was decried by his opponents as a “coup.” He later dissolved the parliament in March after lawmakers held a session to revoke his measures.