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Chad Public Service Workers Strike

Reuters (11/15/11)

Chad's government has agreed to raise public sector wages sharply over the next three years, ending three weeks of strikes in the central African oil producer nation, the head of Chad's top labour union said.

The salary increases will include a 20 percent rise in 2012, a 40 percent hike in 2013, and another 40 percent rise in 2014, union president Michel Barka told Reuters late on Monday.

It was the "greatest victory of the workers since independence," he said.

A finance ministry official said the hike would help workers face the rising cost of living.

Chad's public wage bill for its 70,000 workers is currently about 30 billion CFA francs($62 million) per year, or about 2 percent of the total budget. Workers began striking on Oct. 25 to demand higher pay.

Chad produces about 115,000 barrels of crude oil per day, exporting most of it through Cameroon, and recently opened an oil refinery.

But it remains one of the world's poorest and least developed countries.

Chad issued its first local-currency bond in July, raising $232 million to finance internal debt and infrastructure projects.

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