Tue Nov 29, 2022
November 29, 2022

Response to the Statement by the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trades Union

The main leader of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions, Kamal Abu Eita, took over as Minister of Labor of the new Egyptian government. Fatma Ramadan, a member of the Executive Committee of the Federation, objected to his taking over this position and issued this statement.

My comrades, Egyptian workers, have been struggling for their rights and for a better Egypt. Egypt’s workers have dreams, of freedom and social justice, dreams to work in a time when thieves who are called businessmen call for closing factories to pocket billions. Egypt’s workers dream of fair wages, dreams of a government that is not only interested in promoting investment at the expense of workers and their rights, and even their lives. Egypt’s workers who dream of a better life for their children, and dream of medicine when they are sick, and do not find it. Egypt’s workers who dream of four walls in which they can take shelter.

Since before the 25th of January and you have been demanding your rights, and your strikes and demonstrations have continued after Mubarak’s toppling, for your demands have not been answered.

Both the Muslim Brotherhood and the Military have negotiated left right and center, not once having in mind the demands and rights you have been calling for. All they have in mind is how to turn off the candle you have lit with your struggle in times of darkness, even if each time in isolation of the other.

Did not the military forcibly end your strikes and protests in Suez, Cairo, Fayyoum, and all over Egypt?! Did not the military arrest you and subject you to military trials, accused you of practicing your rights of organization, strike, and peaceful protest?! Have they not adamantly worked to criminalize this right through legislation barring the right of all the Egyptian people to peaceful protests, strikes, and sit ins?

Then came Mursi and the Muslim Brotherhood to continue their path of division, arrests, and cracks downs on strikes by force to the extent of using police dogs against Titan Workers in Alexandria- done by Mursi- through the ministry of interior and its men. The very police and army officers who are right now carried on the shoulders are killers, the very killers of young honest Egyptians, they are power’s weapon against us all- and will remain so, in every time and place, unless these institutions are cleansed.

Today, because of the crimes planned by the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood against the Egyptian people on a daily basis, which the Army and the Police are facing with brutal violence and the killing of innocent people, let each of us remember, when is the army and police intervening? They intervene long after clashes have begun and almost coming to an end, after blood have been spilled. Ask yourselves, why are they not permitting these crimes committed by the Muslim Brotherhood against the Egyptian people before they start? Ask yourselves, in whose interest is this continuation of fighting and blood spilling? It is in the interest of both the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Military together. And as wars between states feed on the fuel of the poor, so does war and infighting fueled from Egypts poor workers and peasants. Was not the doormans’ innocent son been killed in Mokattam, and in Giza as well?

Today, we have been asked to go out and authorize Sisi’s killing spree, and we find all three associations, the Governmental Federation of Unions, the Democratic Egyptian Workers Federation, and the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions (of which I am a member of the Executive Committee- and I engaged in discussion with members of the executive committee in order to convince them not to issue a statement calling on its members and the Egyptian people to go down on Friday (the 26th), confirming that the army, the police, and the people are one hand as stated in the statement, but my position was a minoritarian one, four other votes in my support versus 9 votes in support of the published statement) calling for workers to go down and authorize on the pretext of fighting terrorism. We are thus faced with a position from jumping out of the frying pan into the fire. The Muslim Brotherhood committed crimes and it must be held accountable and prosecuted for them, just like police and army officers and men of the Mubarak regime must be held accountable and prosecuted for their crimes.

Do not be fooled , replacing a religious dictatorship with a military dictatorship.

Workers of Egypt: be aware, for your demands are crystal clear, you want work for you and your children, you want fair pay, laws that protect your rights against the laws that the businessmen of Mubarak have designed to protect their interests against your rights, you want a state based development opening new factories in order to accommodate the nascent labor force. You want Freedom, freedom of all kinds, freedom to organize, freedom to strike. You want a country where you can live as free citizens without torture or murder. You have to specify what stands between you and these demands. Do not be fooled, letting them drag you to battles that are not your own. Do not listen to those who ask of you today and tomorrow to stop pressing for these demands and rights under the pretext of fighting terrorism.

* Member of the Executive Bureau of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions

Friday, July 26, 2013




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