General strike paralyses activities in Guinean capital

Updated: 2016-02-16 17:37


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CONAKRY - Economic activities were paralysed on Monday in Conakry, the Guinean capital, due to an indefinite general strike by unions that are demanding improvement of living conditions for workers in public and private sectors.

Movement was equally disrupted due to lack of transport vehicles such as buses and taxis.

In Conakry's biggest markets such as Madina and Niger markets, shops, offices and restaurants remained closed from morning.

To guarantee minimum service to customers, the governor of Guinea's Central Bank Lounceny Nabe, accompanied by directors of primary banks and police officer, proceeded to forcefully open banks in Kaloum, Conakry's economic and administrative center.

In almost all public and administrative offices, most civil servants were absent due to the strike.

Public and private schools as well as institutions of higher learning were equally affected by the strike, with total absence of teachers and students in classes.

In the main hospitals in Conakry, minimum service was being provided by a reduced number of staff.

Speaking on a local radio station, Government Spokesman Albert Damantang Camara said "the state will not make any promises that may not be beneficial to the Guinean people".

"The government will not take decisions today for the Guinean people which may turn out to hurt the same people we wish to help," he declared.

The main trade unions are demanding, among other issues, a reduction of oil prices, a substantial review of retirees' pension and a salary increase for civil servants.