Egyptian Trade Unionists Statement — Monthly Review On Line

Egypt: Independent Trade Unionists’ Declaration Cairo, 19 February 2011 

Revolution — Freedom — Social Justice

Demands of the Workers in the Revolution

O heroes of the 25 January revolution!  We, workers and trade unionists from different workplaces which have seen strikes, occupations, and demonstrations by hundreds of thousands of workers across Egypt during the current period, feel it is right to unite the demands of striking workers so that they may become an integral part of the goals of our revolution, which the people of Egypt made, and for which the martyrs shed their blood.  We present to you a workers’ program which brings together our just demands, in order to reaffirm the social aspect of this revolution and to prevent the revolution being taken away from those at its base who should be its beneficiaries.

The workers’ demands which we raised before the 25 January revolution and were part of the prelude to this glorious revolution are:

1. Raising the national minimum wage and pension, and narrowing the gap between minimum and maximum wages so that the maximum is no more than 15 times the minimum, in order to achieve the principle of social justice which the revolution gave birth to; payment of unemployment benefits, as well as regular increases commensurate with rising prices.

2. The freedom to organize independent trade unions without conditions or restrictions, and the protection of trade unions and their leaders.

3. The right of manual workers and clerical workers, peasant farmers and professionals, to job security and protection from dismissal.  Temporary workers must be made permanent and dismissed workers be returned to their jobs.  We must do away with all excuses for employing workers on temporary contracts.

4. Renationalization of all privatized enterprises and a complete stop to the infamous privatization program which wrecked our national economy under the defunct regime.

5.

  • Complete removal of corrupt managers who were imposed on companies in order to run them down and sell them off.
  • Curbing the employment of consultants who are past the age of retirement and who eat up 3 billion of the national income, in order to open up employment opportunities for the young.
  • Return to the enforcement of price controls on goods and services in order to keep prices down and not to burden the poor.

6. The right of Egyptian workers to strike, organize sit-ins, and demonstrate peacefully, including those striking now against the remnants of the failed regime, those who were imposed on their companies in order to run them down prior to a sell-off.  It is our opinion that if this revolution does not lead to the fair distribution of wealth it is not worth anything.  Freedoms are not complete without social freedoms.  The right to vote is naturally dependent on the right to a loaf of bread.

7. Health care is a necessary condition for increasing production.

8. Dissolution of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation, which was one of the most important symbols of corruption under the defunct regime.  Execution of the legal judgments issued against it and seizure of its financial assets and documents.  Seizure of the assets of the leaders of the ETUF and its member unions and their investigation.

Signed:

Ahmad Kamal Salah, Employee of the Meteorological Office
Hossam Muhammad Abdallah Ali, Health Technicians Union
Sayyida Al-Sayyid Muhammad Fayiz, Nurse
Ashraf Abd al-Wanis, Al-Fayyum Sugar Refinery
Abd-al-Qadir Mansur, Omar Effendi Department Store
Hafiz Nagib Muhammad, Future Pipes Co, 6th October City
Muhammad Hassan, Egypt – Helwan Textiles Co.
Mahmud Abd-al-Munsaf Al-Alwani, Tora Cement
Ali Mahmud Nagi, Egyptian Commercial Pharmaceutical Co.
Omar Muhammad Abd-al-Aziz, Hawamidiyya Sugar Refinery
Muhammad Galal, Egyptian Pharmaceuticals
Shazli Sawi Shazli, Suez Fertilisers Co.
Muhammad Ibrahim Hassan, Military Factory No.45
Wasif Musa Wahba, Military Factory No. 999
Gamil Fathi Hifni, General Transport Authority
Adil Abd-al-Na’im, Cairo General Contractors
Ali Hassan Abu Aita, Al-Qanah Rope Co., Port Sa’id
Hind Abd-al-Gawad Ibrahim, Information Centre
Hamada Abu-Zaid, Information Centre
Muhammad Khairy Zaid, Information Centre
Hatim Salah Sayyid, General Authority for Cultural Centres
Muhammad Abd-al-Hakim, National Postal Authority
Ahmad Islam, International Ibex Co.
Tariq Sayyid Mahmud, Military Factory 99
Nabil Mahmud, Military Factory 999
Mahmud Shukri, Trade unionist
Ahmad Faruq, Military Factory 999
Osama Al-Sayyid, Military Factory 999
Yasir Al-Sayyid Ibrahim, Future Pipe Industries
Mahmud Ali Ahmad, Tannery workers
Abd-al-Rasul Abd-al-Ghani, Future Pipe Industries
Ali Al-Sayyid, Omar Effendi Department Store
Kamal Abu Aita, Property Tax Collectors (RETAU)
Ahmad Abd-al-Sabur, Property Tax Collectors (RETAU)
Salah Abd-al-Hamid, Property Tax Collectors (RETAU)
Mahmud Umar, Property Tax Collectors (RETAU)
Khalid Galal Muhammad, Worker
Muhammad Zaki Isma’il, Petrotrade Co.
Saud Omar, Suez Canal Co.
Kamal el-Banna, Suez Fertilizers Co.


The original statement in Arabic is available at <www.e-socialists.net/node/6509>.  The text above is adapted from an English translation provided by Hossam el-Hamalawy.



MR

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