Egyptian workers announce new trade union federation

January 30, 2011 at 10:03 pm (class, Jim D, Middle East, unions)

Translation of original in Arabic into English:

 Press Release:

Date: Sunday, 30 January 2011  

Today, representatives of the of the Egyptian labor movement, made up of the independent Egyptian trade unions of workers in real estate tax collection, the retirees, the technical health professionals and representatives of the important industrial areas in Egypt: Helwan, Mahalla al-Kubra, the tenth of Ramadan city, Sadat City and workers from the various industrial and economic sectors such as: garment & textiles, metals industry, pharmaceuticals, chemical industry, government employees, iron and steel, automotive, etc… And they agreed to hold a press conference at 3:30pm this afternoon in Tahrir Square next to Omar Effendi Company store in downtown Cairo to announce the organization of the new Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions and to announce the formation of committees in all factories and enterprises to protect, defend them and to set a date for a general strike. And to emphasize that the labor movement is in the heart and soul of the Egyptian Peoples’ revolution and its emphasis on the support for the six requirements as demanded by the Egyptian People’s Revolution. To emphasize the economic and democratic demands voiced by the independent labor movement through thousands of strikes, sit-ins and protests by Egyptian workers in the past years.

H/t: Clive



  1. jim denham said,

    “The roots of the Egyptian revolutionary movement”: well worth watching:

  2. charliethechulo said,

    An interesting debate over at Dave’s:

    Our comrade Clive has been correcting ex-IS’er John Palmer: Palmer seems to be arguing that to oppose the Muslim Brotherhood is to oppose the Egyptian revolution. Clive explains that this is not the case:

    “John, yes. There’s a difference with 1905, though (one of many!), which is that the forces organising ‘behind’ Father Gapon were the social democrats, and Gapon himself had no organised movement. In Egypt, it’s the Brotherhood which is – supposedly – the best organised force. We’ll see.

    “But it seems to me these events will be a big test of the Left especially in Europe. Will we be able to help an independent workers’ movement, and within it a vibrant, potentially-hegemonic, secular left develop? Because if we can’t do that – put what weight we have behind such a development – and allow other forces, eg the Brotherhood to dominate instead (and in terms of this argument it doesn’t really matter how moderate or otherwise the Brotherhood is), I think it will be a terrible defeat for the international left and the hopes for socialism.”

    … (comments from Palmer, which can be read over at Dave’s)…

    Clive: “John Palmer

    “I hope you’re right that if the Muslim Brothers formed a government the left and the workers’ movement would find it unrepressive, even benign, and be allowed to ” build support for much more fundamental social, economic and political change” in peace. I am disinclined to trust even more obviously democratically-committed people like al Baradei or Nour, though, to simply allow a peaceful development of the left.

    “I don’t see that having this concern is anything to do with thinking a Muslim Brotherhood electoral victory would ‘discredit the revolution’. My concern is that the left, and the workers’ movement (which has been beginning to assert itself over the last few years) is given whatever help we can give it in the coming period. Hoping for the best with regard to the Brotherhood seems a simply dumb approach to me.

    “And if we fail to help the left and the workers’ movement (especially if that’s because we think we don’t really need to because the Brothers can be trusted to nice) it will be a damning indictment of us.”

    (Palmer argues that to criticise the Muslim Brotherhood is to support the Mubarak regime as “better the villain you know…” ); Clive replies:

    “John, I am suggesting that it should be our priority to build solidarity with the left and the workers’ movement. Yes, they’re not a mass force (or rather, the left isn’t; and the workers’ movement is only just beginning to build organisations independent of the state). But this makes giving solidarity to them *more* urgent and essential, not less.

    “(I can’t imagine where you got the ‘devil you know’ thing from. Certainly not from me).

    “I am also suggesting that taking the approach towards the Brotherhood of ‘them? repress the workers? whoever could believe such a thing?’ probably won’t help.”

  3. sackcloth and ashes said,

    Here’s hoping that Egypt has a 1974 or a 1989-style revolution, and not the 1979 version.

  4. SteveH said,

    charliethechulo, it would be better if you had posted Palmer’s comments rather than putting words into his mouth. I mean for gods sake!

    Ellis made a great observation in the thread,

    Jim Denham: “`Amazing that these ex-IS’ers seem to have forgotten the best of their political heritage.’

    David Ellis:

    “That coming from a man who supports the US military in Iraq and Zionist colonialism in Palestine.”

  5. jim denham said,

    (Jim Denham is)…” a man who supports the US military in Iraq and Zionist colonialism in Palestine.”

    Ellis is either ignorant or a liar. Or, possibly, mentally ill, like you, Steve.
    Btw: It may have escaped your eagle eye, Steve, but Charlie provided a link so that anyone who’s interested can read Palmer’s comments for themselves.

  6. Scottish Socialist Youth » Hosni Mubarak – denial is more than just a river in revolutionary Egypt… said,

    […] these wage rises, Egyptian workers also have won a new free and independent Trade Union organisation which has played a crucial role in the past few days, organising strikes across Egypt – from […]

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