World Bulletin / News Desk
British energy firm Petrofac is halting work at a gas plant in Tunisia due to protests by local workers demanding improved conditions, the government in Tunis said Wednesday.
"Petrofac informed the Tunisian government that it has begun the process of leaving, including stopping worker salaries and halting technical procedures" at Chergui, in the country's southeast, government spokesman Iyed Dahmani told reporters.
"They began procedures today but if we see any chance of a solution being reached we will do all we can to get Petrofac to stay."
Contacted by AFP, the head of Petrofac in Tunisia, Imed Derouiche, said he had no immediate comment to make on the report.
Protests since the start of the year by workers demanding permanent contracts have halted work at Chergui, which accounts for 12 percent of all Tunisian gas production.
Petrofac works at the site in cooperation with Tunisia's national oil company.
The crisis has hit a programme, largely financed by Petrofac and created in the wake of Tunisia's 2011 uprising, to get unemployed graduates into work, albeit often without permanent contracts or benefits.
Tunisia is battling high unemployment and has been hit by a spate of attacks in the past 18 months but has largely escaped the widespread unrest experienced by other countries that underwent 2011's wave of popular uprisings.
Last Mod: 22 Eylül 2016, 09:53