Egypt: Why Sisi Hates Egypt’s Unions

Filed under: Features,International,Labor,Opinions/Blogs |

Egypt is cracking down on labor to quash the force behind the Tahrir Square revolution.

By  — One night during the Arab Spring, after a drive down the highway that connects Alexandria and Cairo, a fellow journalist and I arrived in Zamalek, the leafy Cairo neighborhood where we were staying. We had spent the day with labor activists in Sadat City, one of the many industrial zones in the Nile Delta, where workers are plentiful, labor law is loose, and foreign companies make a killing on the combination.

EgyptLongtime dictator Hosni Mubarak had stepped down following massive protests six months earlier, and independent union organizers were optimistic. For decades, the government had controlled the country’s unions through its relationship with the Egyptian Trade Union Federation. In the euphoria after Mubarak’s fall, activists hoped reforms were forthcoming that would allow independent unions to proliferate. Still, they remained wary of government repression.

That night, over a few bottles of Stella, one of my companions asked our colleague, Egyptian-Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, what the chances were that the group of workers we talked to about forming unions had been infiltrated by government informants. “100 percent,” he said.

Read more about unions in Egypt here

Source: Labour Start Newsfeed LabourStart headline – Source: Jacobin

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