- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 5, 2005

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (Agence France-Presse) — Unions yesterday suspended a general strike that completely shut down offices and shops here in the capital, saying headway had been made in talks with the government.

Mohamed Deem, head of the Labor Congress, said the workers’ confederation decided “to suspend the stay-at-home action, and we are asking all workers to resume normal duties … today.”

Union leaders and government officials in the diamond-rich West African country held talks late Tuesday night and agreed on several points, Mr. Deem said. The resumption of normal activity was slow because national radio did not announce suspension of the strike until early yesterday.

On Tuesday, the nationwide strike to protest the rising cost of living and press for a raise in workers’ salaries left Freetown’s main streets deserted and businesses closed. Mr. Deem said the strike has been “suspended, not properly called off” because two labor demands remain outstanding.

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