Sudanese Workers’ Trade Union Federation protest and sit-in at State House

The Sudanese Workers’ Trade Union Federation (SWTUF) is participating in a massive rally in front of the Presidential Palace in Khartoum. This demonstration which began on the 16th of October, 2021 has drawn thousands of Sudanese. It was initiated by the forces of national understanding and the SWTUF. The organisers of this popular action, including the SWTUF, are calling for the departure of the transitional government, which according to them, has failed in its mission and is only worsening the crisis that is ravaging Sudan.

In its appeal to Sudanese workers on the 13th of October 2021, the SWTUF decried the government’s interference in trade union affairs, as well as the persecution of trade unionists since the dissolution of SWTUF was announced in December 2019. The trade union federation blames, among other things, the government of Dr. Hamdouk for the violation of the Constitution of Sudan, international labour conventions and human rights, the unfair dismissal of millions of executives and civil servants for no reason and the lifting of support for basic products and services.

Speaking at the rally, SWTUF President, Youssif Ali Abdelkarim strongly condemned Dr. Hamdouk’s government’s policy of oppression and arrogance towards workers and the starvation of the Sudanese people. Like other forces that participated in this large-scale action, he is calling for the government’s exit and the establishment of a competent government, the opening of inclusive dialogue and the extension of the legislative council to all the forces of the country. He is also calling for the respect of the right to organise and the immediate reintegration of all trade unionists and dismissed workers.

As a reminder, the SWTUF was officially dissolved by the 1989 Commission to Dismantle the Regime; which was created for this purpose by the transitional government headed by Dr. Abdellah Hamdouk, a former United Nations official. The President of the SWTUF, Youssef Abdelkarim Ali and other national leaders were dismissed by a simple decision of the 1989 Commission to Dismantle the Regime. Thousands of executives, civil servants and other categories of workers belonging to different sectors have been compelled to resort to begging for sustenance. With regard to the government’s attitude of transition and serious infringements of trade union and human rights, complaints have been made to this effect at the International Labour Organization and a large-scale solidarity movement is being organised at the global level to support the Sudanese trade unionists and workers who have become victims of repression and injustice.

SWTUF President, Youssif Ali Abdelkarim speaking at the rally