Siria - Growing numbers of strikes met with violence (2012)

Until 2011, workers generally did not dare exercise the right to strike, given the potential heavy penalties and repression of any activity deemed to be critical of the government. Fear of reprisals meant response to the calls for general strikes during the year was mixed, with a greater turnout in cities considered to be pro-democracy strongholds than in the capital Damascus.

However 2011 was marked by a series of general strikes, which started in March, and which formed a major part of the protests against the repression of fundamental rights and the lack of decent jobs and prospects for the future. Opposition protestors called nationwide general strikes for 18 May, 23 June and 11 December. In addition, there were general strikes in the city of Hama between 3 and 5 June and in the cities of Homs and Hama on 7 July. The majority of these strikes, calling for an end to repression were met with violence, injury and often killings.

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