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Cablegate: Cote D Ivoire Fines Striking Physicians

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHAB #1003 2701504
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 271504Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3570
INFO RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0466
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0851
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC

UNCLAS ABIDJAN 001003

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR AF/W-EPLUMB

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ELAB PGOV IV
SUBJECT: COTE D IVOIRE FINES STRIKING PHYSICIANS

REF: ABIDJAN 969

1. (U) The Government of Cote d Ivoire decided on September 20 to
suspend the September salary of the leaders of the union
representing physicians, the Syndicat National des Cadres Superieurs
de la Santede Cote d Ivoire (SYNACASS-CI), which organized a strike
by public sector physicians September 4-13 (See reftel). Physicians
and trainees who went on strike will have their salaries reduced by
half this month. The government said the union's behavior was in
violation of strike procedures that provide for the provision of
minimum services in the public sector during strikes. The
government has also warned that any similar actions in the future
will result in dismissal of civil servants.
2. (SBU) The government's decisive attitude in addressing the
physicians' strike was replicated in recent days in its firm stance
to successfully avert a strike by court clerks. A strike by the
clerks would have derailed the "audiences foraines" (tribunals to
issue birth certificates to those who never had them or lost them)
process that began September 25 and which is a crucial step in
implementation of the Ouagadougou Political Accord. Both groups of
strikers seem to have understood that the government has come
together and is willing to use rolling dismissals to prevail. In
coming weeks, observers will closely watch whether the united stance
adopted by the President and Prime Minister in addressing strikes
manifests itself in other instances.

AKUETTEH

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