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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 April 2019

Moroccan police use water cannon to disperse teachers' protest – witness

Security forces struggled to end rally of estimated 15,000 teachers in front of parliament

Thousands of Moroccan teachers have been on strike for three consecutive weeks, demanding better work conditions. AP
Thousands of Moroccan teachers have been on strike for three consecutive weeks, demanding better work conditions. AP

Moroccan police used water cannon yesterday to disperse thousands of young teachers protesting in the capital Rabat for better work conditions.

The authorities were trying to end a rally of an estimated 15,000 teachers in front of the country’s parliament.

Protesters had planned to spend the night there before an even bigger demonstration called by a coalition of leftist opposition parties, unions and civil society groups.

Police in anti-riot gear moved into action after negotiations between officers and teachers to ask the protesters to leave the area broke down after several hours.

Some teachers said they were protesting against the contracts under which they have been hired. They are demanding full benefits and pensions like regular public servants.

Teachers across the country have been on strike for three weeks in a row.

Of the country’s teacher workforce of 240,000, 55,000 have been hired since 2016 under a new contract system.

Morocco has come under pressure from international lenders to trim the civil service wage bill and strengthen the efficiency of the North African country’s public sector.

Updated: March 24, 2019 08:02 PM

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