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General strike hits Burundi

BBC News, 17 January 2000

The authorities in Burundi have threatened to sack civil servants who have gone on an indefinite strike to protest against recent price increases.

A government statement broadcast over the radio said anyone who does not show up for work will be fired.

The statement called on union leaders to negotiate their demands.

The strike was called by unions representing workers in the public and private sectors after the government raised taxes on key consumer goods like fuel, sugar, rice, beer and cement.

The unions say there will be no negotiations until the taxes are lifted.

Reports from Burundi say many schools and state industries were closed on Monday due to the strike.