Police use water cannons against teachers' protest in Morocco

Anti-riot police swung into action after talks broke down with teachers demanding better work conditions.

    Teachers across Morocco have been striking for three consecutive weeks [Fadel Senna/AFP]
    Teachers across Morocco have been striking for three consecutive weeks [Fadel Senna/AFP]

    Police in Morocco's capital Rabat have used water cannons to disperse thousands of young teachers protesting for better work conditions.

    Authorities early on Sunday were trying to end a rally of an estimated 15,000 teachers in front of parliament where they planned to spend the night before an even bigger demonstration called by a coalition of leftist opposition parties, unions and civil society groups.

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

    Authorities had offered to send buses to drive them to places where they could spend the night, teachers said.

    They had been chanting "liberty, dignity, social justice".

    Policemen in anti-riot gear swung into action after talks broke down [Fadel Senna/AFP]

    Some teachers said they were protesting against contracts on which they have been hired.

    They are demanding full benefits and pensions like regular public servants.

    Teachers across the country have been striking for three consecutive weeks.

    Of the country's 240,000-strong teacher workforce, 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 public sector.

    Protesters are demanding full benefits and pensions like regular public servants [Fadel Senna/AFP]

    SOURCE: Reuters news agency