Algerian strikers in stand-off with police

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Algerian strikers in stand-off with police

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Striking Algerian workers have confronted riot police close to the capital Algiers.

The incident is the latest in a series of labour disputes over spiralling inflation, working conditions and pensions.

The stand-off happened in the industrial town of Rouiba, where 5,000 people are employed at a state-run manufacturing plant.

The workers have downed tools indefinitely.

Trade unionist Zetoto Mustapha said: “We will not go back to work until we have our due rights. Firstly a wage increase, secondly improved retirement conditions, which must not change, because we work hard here. We cannot work until we are 60-years-old. The retirement and pension issue concerns all Algerian workers.”

The discontent is spreading with teachers, public health workers and doctors also taking to the streets in protest.

It is reported that a number of strikers were hurt as police waded into the crowd with batons.

The government recently increased the minimum wage, but unions claim the money has been eaten up by big price hikes.