Moroccan minister resigns over consumer boycott move

07 June 2018 - 14:29 By Reuters
Moroccan Minister Lahcen Daoudi speaking during the launch of the Euro-Mediterranean university of Fes-UEMF in the Moroccan city of Fes
Moroccan Minister Lahcen Daoudi speaking during the launch of the Euro-Mediterranean university of Fes-UEMF in the Moroccan city of Fes
Image: AFP PHOTO Fadel SENNA / AFP. File Photo

A Moroccan government minister will resign after coming under pressure for showing sympathy with workers hit by a consumer boycott campaign targeting some of the country's top brands, his party said on Wednesday.

Governance minister Lahcen Daoudi, of the co-ruling PJD Islamist party, is the first political casualty of the campaign which has forced dairy firm Centrale-Danone, part of France's Danone, to cut production and lay off workers.

Daoudi showed up on Tuesday night at a sit-in of Centrale-Danone workers calling on consumers to end the boycott, which the government fears will damage the wider economy.

"The participation of brother Lahcen Daoudi in the sit-in in question is unreasonable and inappropriate," the PJD general secretariat said in a statement issued following an extraordinary meeting chaired by Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani.

The secretariat general added that its members "appreciate that brother Lahcen Daoudi asked to be dismissed from his ministerial responsibility."

During the sit-in Daoudi had said that the demands of the workers to stop the boycott were legitimate.

The boycott launched on April 20 is also directed at Afriquia fuel stations owned by billionaire minister Aziz Akhanouch and the Sidi Ali mineral water brand.

Centrale-Danone has said sales have halved since the start of the campaign and it will post a 150-million Moroccan dirham (R203-million) loss in the first half.

It has also said that the campaign prompted it to cut milk it collects from the 120,000 farmers who supply it by 30%. 

Workers of the Centrale Danone company protest against the boycott of the brand, in front of the parliament in Rabat.
Workers of the Centrale Danone company protest against the boycott of the brand, in front of the parliament in Rabat.
Image: REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal. Photo file.

sday night at a sit-in of Centrale-Danone workers calling on consumers to end the boycott, which the government fears will damage the wider economy.

"The participation of brother Lahcen Daoudi in the sit-in in question is unreasonable and inappropriate," the PJD general secretariat said in a statement issued following an extraordinary meeting chaired by Prime Minister Saad Eddine El Othmani.

The secretariat general added that its members "appreciate that brother Lahcen Daoudi asked to be dismissed from his ministerial responsibility."

During the sit-in Daoudi had said that the demands of the workers to stop the boycott were legitimate.

The boycott launched on April 20 is also directed at Afriquia fuel stations owned by billionaire minister Aziz Akhanouch and the Sidi Ali mineral water brand.

Centrale-Danone has said sales have halved since the start of the campaign and it will post a 150-million Moroccan dirham (R203-million) loss in the first half.

It has also said that the campaign prompted it to cut milk it collects from the 120,000 farmers who supply it by 30%. 

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