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Call by the constituent committee of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions

category north africa | workplace struggles | news report author Tuesday February 22, 2011 20:13author by CGT Norte de África - Confederación General del Trabajo Report this post to the editors

On Sunday 13, the constituent committee of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions issued a statement calling on Egyptian workers to leave the government union and begin building their own unions. This appeal is a continuation of the mass strikes of workers, which also affected key sectors of the Egyptian economy such as armaments factories, cement factories and steelworks and have been a key factor in recent events - neglected by the media which has focused almost exclusively on Tahrir Square. [Castellano]
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Call by the constituent committee of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions


On Sunday 13, the constituent committee of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions issued a statement calling on Egyptian workers to leave the government union and begin building their own unions.

This appeal is a continuation of the mass strikes of workers, which also affected key sectors of the Egyptian economy such as armaments factories, cement factories and steelworks and have been a key factor in recent events - neglected by the media which has focused almost exclusively on Tahrir Square. Strikes by Egyptian workers were decisive in the victory of the Egyptian people which brought about the fall of the Mubarak regime, a direct product of the struggle of the people and the Egyptian workers, regardless of whether those in power seek other ways to maintain the system, leaving Mubarak to his fate.

Demonstration outside the ETUF, Mubarak's union federation

Today, 14 February, the constituent committee of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions organized a demonstration outside the premises of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), demanding the prosecution of corrupt ETUF leaders who got rich on the backs of the workers, opposing the Egyptian revolution of 25 January and hiring thugs to attack the revolutionaries in Tahrir Square.

On 6 February last, the CTUWS (Center for Trade Union and Workers' Services), which is supporting the creation of an independent trade union federation, together with a number of labour leaders, filed a complaint with the attorney general asking for an investigation into the source of the fortunes of Hussein Megawer, president of the ETUF, considered to be in the region of tens of millions of Egyptian pounds. The CTUWS lawyer presented documents proving the seriousness of the complaint, which has led to the opening of a preliminary investigation.

The ETUF's response has been to present a complaint against the CTUWS, demanding the closure of their premises and accusing it of threatening national security, denigrating the legal and of promoting instability and strikes in companies. During the rally in front of the ETUF, which involved over 2,000 workers (from the Real Estate Tax Authority Union - RETA union and the health technicians' union, and from companies in El-Mahalla El-Kubra, Helwan, 10th of Ramdan City and Sadat City), some paid ETUF thugs threw empty (glass) bottles at demonstrators, injuring three workers. Army forces entered the premises and arrested 4 ETUF thugs and then clarified that these thugs were (connected with) Hussein Megawer, president of the "Trade Union Federation (ETUF)".

There follows the statement issued by the consituent committee.

A Message to Egyptian Workers

Colleagues in all workplaces,

Now that the republic of fear, despotism and corruption has fallen, now that the 25 January revolution succeeded in overthrowing the Mubarak regime, it is incumbent upon us, we workers, to purge the country of the remnants of the regime and its servants.

President of the Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) Hussein Megawer and his coterie, have been imposed by the state security apparatus to talk in our names through rigged elections found null and void by the Administrative Court. They sold our interests and betrayed our cause. They lived their lives servants for every authority and slaves of all rulers. All they cared about was the accumulation of illicit gain, and indeed they became millionaires living in villas and luxurious apartments, and driving around in luxury cars. We challenge them to disclose their wealth and its sources, and to provide a public statement about their financial status.

Today is the day of judgment. It is the day on which these people should pay the price of their crimes against workers. We will not remain silent regarding those who stole workers’ money, who facilitated and profited from the sell-off the public sector. We will pursue them through all legal means.

In the name of the martyrs of the revolution who spilled their blood to pave our road to freedom, and against whom Hussein Megawer and his gang conspired, by issuing statements against the revolution and hiring thugs to attack the insurgents in Tahrir Square, do not allow those people to remain unpunished for their crimes. Let our first step on the road to freedom be the immediate withdrawal from the governmental federation that fell with the downfall of the regime. On 30 January 2011, the Constituent Body of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions was formed in a meeting attended by representatives of the Independent Union of Real Estate Tax Collectors, the Union of Pensioners, the Union of Health Technicians, the Independent Union of Teachers, as well as workers’ leaders from Mahalla, Helwan, 10th of Ramadan and Sadat City. Let us join the new independent federation.

Today, Egyptian workers can build their independent trade union organization. They can build it freely as a strong trade union organization capable of defending their interests and improving their conditions of work.

Let us start today, not tomorrow. The road is clear. We all have to withdraw from this governmental federation that fell with the fall-down of the regime. Let us all ask the management in our workplaces to stop deducting union subscriptions from our pay. Let us together build our independent union and our independent federation, a federation subject to the workers’ will rather than the powers that be.

The Constituent Body of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Trade Unions.

February 13, 2011

Article by CGT Norte de África, working group for international relations with North Africa.
http://www.cgtandalucia.org/Llamamiento-del-comite

English translation of article by FdCA International Relations Office.

Related Link: http://www.ctuws.com
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