[The following report was released by the Center for Trade Union and Worker Services (CTUWS) on 22 July 2013.]
The Condition of Egyptian Workers: One Year After the Brotherhood’s Rule, One Year of Trade Union Freedom Violations during Morsi’s Regime
One year has passed since Mohamed Morsi accede the presidency of the republic while Egyptian workers are still awaiting the fulfillment of his promises to realize social justice. All what the workers get from the president and his group is their concern with a file to empower the Brotherhood and strengthen its involvement in the state institutions without the slightest attention to the workers and their living conditions. One year has passed and we did not hear about a plan to confront unemployment. We did not find a response from the president to the demands of the pensioners or to the complaints of the workers who were forced to accept early retirement. We did not hear from him when will the privatized companies be returned to state according to court sentences. We did not hear from the president and his group that budget allocations for health and education will be increased. Moreover, when the workers protested and exercised their right to strike calling for their fair rights, the media of the president and his group attacked the workers’ strikes and accused their noble trade union leaders through the state-owned press and TV channels. Worse then ever, they used the mosques to provoke T.U. leaders and confronted the strikes with unprecedented violence. Dr. Morsi and his government were not biased to trade union freedoms. On the contrary, they brought a minister whose main concern was to implement the Brotherhood’s plot to destroy the independent unions and dominate the official trade union Federation by removing Mubarak’s people and appoint the Murshid’s people instead of them.
One year has passed and the exercise of trade union freedoms, whose principles were announced, was met on the ground by severe difficulties and serious violations by the devilish alliance between the Egyptian Trade Union Federation “ETUF” and the government administrations whose officials remained unchanged with a number of businessmen and private companies. By the end of the year, Egypt was put on ILO’ black list of the worst nations which do not observe the workers rights.
During the fist year of the president from the Brotherhood the Egyptian working class was subject to a number of quantitative and qualitative violations unprecedented in the history of Egyptian workers. Quantitatively, the workers protests calling for their minimum legal rights (the right to work, the right to fair wages, etc.) were met by security confrontations at almost a daily level. Judicial prosecutions of labour leaders on the basis of the “law to protect the revolution” issued by president Morsi on 22nd November 2012. This law equates the striking workers with the killers of the revolutionaries and criminalizes the right to strike.
Qualitatively, the government the government did not deal with the workers’ protest movements in a manner that suits a post-revolution government. It confronted such protests with defamation of the strikes and the T.U. leaders through state-owned press and condemnation of strikes and sit-ins as acts in contradiction with religion. In addition, the regime sanctioned hiring thugs by businessmen to attack the striking workers with live bullets.
In this report, the Center for Trade Union and Workers Services “CTUWS” observed the state of trade union freedoms in Egypt during the first year of Morsi’s regime. The report exhibits the state of trade union freedoms at two levels:
The First level: the legal structure which restricts trade union freedoms, and
The Second Level: violations and assaults against trade union and labour leaderships.
[Click here to download the complete report in English.]
[Click here to download the complete report in Arabic.]