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News: Confederation of Ethiopian trade Unions calls on government to pay heed to fate of industrial park workers; demand lasting solution to soaring inflation

By Etenesh Abera @EteneshAb & Biruk Alemu @Birukalemu21

Addis Abeba – The confederation of Ethiopian trade Unions yesterday held its mid-year conference where it urged the government to bring a solution to the fate of employees of industrial parks. The confederation also demanded a long-lasting solution for the high living costs faced by workers throughout the country, especially for those with low income.

Speaking at the conference, the president of the confederation Kassahun Follo, said, “Some workers are unable to feed themselves let alone their families.”  He noted that the rising in the living cost in Ethiopia started way earlier than the Covid pandemic,  the war in Tigray, and the war between Ukraine and Russia.

“During the Covid pandemic,  the government set new guidelines and applied debt cancellation for investors. This may have saved jobs in some sectors but others like hotels partially or fully stopped their operations leaving many out of jobs,” the president said.  

The president specifically discussed the two major outcomes of the war in Tigray which brought that affected the lives of industrial park employees. “The first is the destruction of industrial parks, such as Kombolcha industrial parks, and the cancellation of Ethiopia from the United States, Africa Growth and Opportunity  Act (AGOA),’ he recalled. He went on to discuss the economic crisis suffered by employees who were laid off. 
Kassahun stated that the confederation took it upon itself to address the revocation of AGOA benefits by reaching out to the US Congress members. He said that they were told to convince the Ethiopian government to facilitate the humanitarian supply for Tigray region and the issue would be solved in no time.

The president also revealed that the confederation is having ongoing discussions with the US Embassy in Addis Abeba about the issue. AS

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