Tag Archives: Labor Protests

EgyWorkers Against Privatization

14 Jul

EgyWorkers from companies that were privatized under Mubarak’s regime staged a protest during their court case calling to return these companies back to the public sector. I spoke mostly with workers from Ghazl Shebin, where 1000s of jobs were lost their jobs and 1000s of money stolen in this corrupted privatization process. The workers are demanding all companies to be nationalized since contract conditions were violated. The case was postponed to September 11th.

About Ghazl Shebin Textile Company

Ghazl Shebin textile company was privatized under the authority of the ex-minister of investment Mahmoud Mohieldin in 2006 to Indorama Corporation, for 122| million EGP. This Textile company of 5700 workers used to be one of the leading exporting textile factories to Europe with net profit of 9 million EGP in 2005-2006 alone, and the main competitor to Indorama Corporation. With the help of Nazif’s cabinet including Youssef Bourtros Ghali (ex-finance minister), Osman Mohamed Osman (ex-economy development minister), Rashid Mohamed Rashid (ex- business & industry minister), Farouk Okda (ex- head of central bank), and Esha Abdel Hady (ex-labor force minister), the factory now has 1200 workers.

The working conditions have deteriorated tremendously in addition to the thousands of workers that were laid off with no compensation. Some of the workers that have been hired back are hired under very strict contracts, where they are fired every year for 2 months and hired back so the employer can avoid paying pensions & benefits to the workers.

The amount of corruption that goes into this so called “privatization” process is unacceptable. Privatization here literally means the stealing of the hard-working Egyptian workers’ money. What “privatization” good will it do to the people who don’t have jobs and those who are being deliberately exploited for the money-hungry businessmen & politicians? A7aaaa!

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Visualizing the Revolution

15 Jun

This video has been one of the most moving and inspiring visuals that I have played over and over, probably every night, prior to the January 25th revolution. Ever since I came across Nasser Nouri‘s powerful images especially from Mahalla, I became totally inspired. The Mahalla up-rise on April 6th 2008 not only inspired youth movements like April 6, but most importantly it visualized the revolution; gave us hope that it is possible. Three years later and this video could’ve been in Tahrir. Thank you Mahalla, thank you brave Egyptian workers, and thank you Nasser Nouri for making many believe that revolution is possible.

Not Just #Kalmtain on SCAF

13 Jun

After a night out with friends celebrating Sarah’s and my accomplishment of graduating, we found ourselves singing and chanting against Al-Musheer Tantawi. It might have looked out of place or stupid, but the interesting part was a door man was cheering us on as we passed him by in Garden City. The growing discontent with SCAF can be accredited to multiple of things, they really left us a long list to choose from including: crackdown on the labor protests, virginity checks, military trials for civilians, or the recent summoning of activists & journalists for criticizing SCAF. On a more optimistic note, the military council have invited the group working to end military trials to meet with SCAF members today and discuss their demands. I hope that the outcome is more surprising than what I am expecting of the usual publicity stunt the SCAF likes to pull off with their usual “meetings.” These military trials for civilians need to end and all detained freedom fighters must be released.

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