ElKhabar reports today that, according to the SNAPAP, Meryem Mehdi decided to stop her hunger strike after 79 days. British Gas’s lawyer said that his company and Mrs. Mehdi have reached an agreement without disclosing any details. And though he said BG would pay for Meryem’s treatment and grant her a financial compensation, he didn’t mention her declared objective which was her reintegration in the company.
British Gas had always refused to acknowledge Meryem’s rights and kept saying that the issue was in the hands of the Algerian justice. It even made attempts to discredit Meryem Mehdi through press releases which showed her as a greedy woman who makes unrealistic claims (a compensation of 20 million DZD or 6 times her annual wage).
I don’t know if this information must be taken seriously and if this is the end of the story (cf. here and here) but I do really think Meryem Mehdi should stop her hunger strike regardless. And I don’t think we can say there’s a winner here. Meryem Mehdi may have won the case, but nothing has really changed: The multinationals will keep ignoring the Algerian laws, the Algerian South will remain a state within the state, the UGTA is as useless as ever, and the Algerian workers will still suffer.
Wishing her a speedy recovery.