URGENT ACTION: Solidarity with arrested textile workers in Egypt (MENA Solidarity Network)

Original online here.

Solidarity with arrested textile workers in Egypt


Sign this statement of solidarity

Workers at Egypt’s largest textile factory in Mahalla won a major victory for tens of thousands employed across Egypt’s state-owned enterprises by forcing the government to agree to raise the minimum wage to 6000 Egyptian pounds after thousands joined a strike which shut down the mill for nearly a week this February. Workers in Mahalla fought back to demand pay rises in the face of an acute cost of living crisis caused by spiralling prices. Poverty levels have surged in Egypt, with 60 percent of the population near or below the World Bank’s official poverty. Yet the military dictatorship which rules Egypt has splashed out billions on arms sales and mega construction projects such as a $58 billion new capital city. Strikes are criminalised, independent trade unions are banned and thousands of political prisoners are in jail, including demonstrators who took to the streets to express their solidarity with Palestinians under Israeli bombardment in Gaza. Now the regime wants to take revenge on workers in Mahalla despite conceding key demands from the recent strike. Police arrested five workers claiming they organised the action and the company is threatening to sack them from their jobs.

We stand in solidarity with Mahalla workers Wael Abu Zuwayyad, Muhammad Mahmud Talba, Sabah Ali al-Qattan, Muhammad al-Attar and Abdelhamid Abu Amnah and demand their immediate release. We call on the Egyptian government to stop repression of strikes and protests and cease attacks on trade union organising. The British government must end its complicity in these abuses by stopping arms sales to Egypt’s military regime. 

Initial signatories include:

John McDonnell, MP – Maryam Eslamdoust, General Secretary, TSSA – Patrick Roach, General Secretary, NASUWT – Julie Mwaluke, Vice-President Unison – Pat Davis, Vice-Chair, Executive Committee, Unite the union – Sean Wallis, National Executive Committee, UCU – Sean Vernell, National Executive Committee, UCU – Dr Julie Chase, National Executive Committee, Association of Educational Psychologists – Jennie Antonio, Unison Black Members National Committee / LGBT+ National Committee – Richard McEwan, National Executive Committee, UCU

See further signatories below.

Add your name to this statement here – names will be published online and sent to the Egyptian embassy in London. Please note, names will not appear automatically.

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