World Bulletin / News Desk
The strike comes less than a week after soldiers sealed off the main road into Bouake, Ivory Coast’s second city, in what was thought to be an army mutiny over the payment of bonuses.
Mesmin Comoe, a labor union member, told Anadolu Agency that the strikers’ main demands were over salary arrears and the method used to calculate pensions.
"The calculation of the retirement pension based on the last index acquired during the career is now based on the average of the index of the last five years," Comoe said.
Union leader Simplice Sapoli told Anadolu Agency the strike had been 90 percent solid.
"We are giving the government five days... If we succeed, we’ll stop the strike totally," Jeremie Gnadji, another trade union official, said.
Comoe claimed the government had not contacted the striking union members.
"We do not have guns, so we will not be called," he said, referring to the soldiers who took to the streets last week.
Last Thursday, a group of soldiers broke into the General Staff of the 3rd Military Region of Bouake, the country’s second city.
The mutiny immediately extended to the towns of Korhogo, Odienne, Daloa, Daoukro and the economic capital Abidjan. The soldiers demanded payment of a bonus promised in 2007.
On Saturday, President Alassane Ouattara agreed to examine the mutineers' claims but denounced their actions.