Tunisia’s powerful UGTT labour union has staged an anti-government protest in Sousse city.

The demonstrations were held in the seaside town of Sousse, south of Tunis, on Sunday, in response to government policy of restructuring and selling of public companies that have been posting losses for years.

UGTT chief Noureddine Taboubi rejected the move as he addressed the rally in Sousse, saying the union was ready for a showdown with the government.

“The sale of public companies is a red line and we will deal with this dangerous plan,” Taboubi told hundreds of gathered workers chanting slogans against privatizations.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Youssef Chahed told parliament on Friday that he wanted to restructure and privatize public companies that have been making losses for years.

Tunisia is currently in the midst of an economic crisis and under pressure from foreign donors to cut a bloated public service and a budget deficit.

Tourism revenue has picked up in recent months, as Tunisia has not suffered any significant terrorist attacks since 2015.

But economic growth remains weak due to the reluctance of investors to come to a country in frequent turmoil since the popular revolution of 2011  which toppled autocratic dictator, Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.