2007: A Year of Strikes
2007 has ended after being attributed as the year of unprecedented strikes to exert pressure on the government and compel the regime to meet the workers” requirements in different fields and sectors.
According to reports published by the Human rights Organizations, this year witnessed 174 during nine months; a protest every 1.5 day. The popular ones were the workers” protests, i.e. there is a gap in the laborers relations in Egypt during the worsening economic conditions.
There were 5 strikes in July, 4 in August, 6 in September, 11 in October, 5 in November, 12 in December, 6 in January, 15 in February, and 10 in March. The workers strikes were the same during this period; their strikes reached 52 one; 5 in July, 8 in August, 7 in September, 4 in October, 5 in November, 3 in December, 5 in January, 8 in February, and 7 in March!!
The Year of Anger
`Essam Al-`Erian, the MB cadre and the Doctor”s Syndicate treasurer, asserts that 2007 had prominent marks in the Egyptian political life; since the 1919 revolution, this is the first year to witness laborers” strikes. This was represented in the real estate taxes employees before the Premier headquarter for more than 12 days after which they succeeded in carrying out many benefits out of the strike.
Journalist Abdul-Haleem Qandeel stated that the last year can be called “the year of anger” because it witnessed many wide range protests and strikes that have never been witnessed by Egypt since 30 years. He added that these strikes included the pilgrims, whether the pending, those chosen by lot, or the lagging ones.
A Year of Political Motion
George Isaac, the former coordinator of Kefaya movement, said that 2007 is the year of political motion due to the spread of protest culture that is expected to increase during 2008.
He added that this motion was clear in the laborers” strikes that spread all over the country. This indicates a futuristic crisis in which the government will be a side if it doesn”t give up its oppressive policies against the Egyptians. Indeed, this motion is the best answer to those accusing the people of passivism and weakness.
Isaac added that the Egyptians are positive; they are used to resisting the oppressors and would sacrifice their selves for this issue. This was crystal clear in the real estate laborers strike; they lay down in the streets for many days till they were able to retain their rights completely. He added that 2007 began with violations, arrests, and kidnapping of opposers, and ended with comic military tribunals passing by suing the recorded and not allowing them to freely express their opinions.
Promotion of the Egyptian Workers Awareness
It is worthy to state that the laborers” protests and strikes were not motivated by any political movement or party. However, it called for clear and direct economic issues, whether relating to salaries, incentives, or even the decisions relating to operation that do affect their financial revenue. This affects the security situations regarding the laborers” strikes and the way the state security forces should deal with them considering them parts of the conflict between production and capital.
Protests stress that the Egyptian laborers have strong awareness that cannot be deceived by the false promises or tricking words after disclosing the real ugly face of the successive governmental policies; including privatization, early pensions, decreasing the extent of one”s rights, and displacement.
It became axiomatic that the Egyptian workers are in one trench facing all the attempts of the government embodying the benefits of businessmen after diminishing the gap between the businessmen and politicians.
Demos and strikes are means to express one”s opinion, peaceful protests, and activating democracy; however, Egyptian government ignores the demands of the protestors except after exhausting all trials to convince them not to protest or go through demos.
Their financial demands are legal for improving their living standards during the rocketing fees of the advisors at the governmental ministries and authorities, because the government generously deals with while oppressing the other governmental employees.