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Workers’ strikes against corruption and savagery of the market - Ikhwanweb

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Workers’ strikes against corruption and savagery of the market
This report is issue no. 54 of LCHR’s Economic & Social Rights series. The report monitors a wave of workers’ strikes and protests during the second half of 2006, which have never been witnessed in Egypt for a long time. These protests are against the privatization policies and the late dues. The report presents the conditions of the economic and social rights, showing that mor
Tuesday, February 13,2007 00:00
by LCHR

This report is issue no. 54 of LCHR’s Economic & Social Rights series. The report monitors a wave of workers’ strikes and protests during the second half of 2006, which have never been witnessed in Egypt for a long time. These protests are against the privatization policies and the late dues.
 
The report presents the conditions of the economic and social rights, showing that more than 45% of the Egyptian population receives 20% of the national income, which is not enough to satisfy their basic needs. The report also shows that the unemployment rates have increased to 11% of the population, as there are about 8 million unemployed people all over Egypt.
 
The report presents the legislative violations that lead to firing workers without compensation and lead to closing down factories without any consideration to workers’ rights.
 
The report discusses the draft law for public employment that turns all state employees into temporary employment who do not have any rights to fair fees, holidays, social security and health insurance.
 
The report shows the deteriorated conditions and the increase of violence against marginalized groups, like fishermen, farmers, women and children working in the agrarian sector, as about 300 women and children have died as a result of violence, also the police has killed one fisherman who was protecting his right to work in the Nile.
 
The report shows that 6% of the Egyptian people receive a monthly income of 56 Egyptian pounds. It also shows that subsidies are decreasing by 3% every year for the last 20 years, which could lead to a disaster especially with the increase of unemployment and the decrease of fees and salaries.
 
The report also presents the binds on the right to strike, protest and freedom of syndicates. For example, article no. 374 off the penal law forbids workers of refusing to work or they will face criminal charges.
 
The report presents an evaluation to the labor elections for 2006 – 2011 that was held last November and witnessed a lot of violations and administrative interference leading to many uncontested winnings. The report monitors all stages of the whole electoral process and the violations it has witnessed.
 
The report monitors workers’ protests during the second half of 2006 that have reached115 protests in the three different sectors “governmental with 42 protests, private with 30 protests and public business with 43 protests”. There were 41 gatherings, 36 sit-ins, 29 strikes and 9 demonstrations.
 
The report presents workers’ protests in the public business sector in detail, stating that there were 43 protests that have varied between 15 sit-ins, 11 gatherings, 13 strikes and 4 demonstrations. The report discussed the reasons for these protests, like not receiving their financial dues, arbitrariness of the administrative bodies, dissolution and privatization of companies and factories, un-fixation of employment, arbitrary firing, forcing workers to early retirement, violating workers’ rights to health insurance and social security, modifying the contract articles, low wages, bonuses and dues and continuous subtraction of salaries. The most important protests were done by the workers of Asmant Asiute Company, Misr Iran for Textile and Yarn and El Fayoum Sugar Company.
 
Then the report presents workers’ protests in the governmental sector, stating that there were 42 protests that have varied between 10 sit-ins, 19 gatherings, 9 strikes and 4 demonstrations. The report discussed the reasons for these protests, like not receiving their financial dues, un-fixation of employment, arbitrary firing, arbitrariness of the administrative bodies, low wages, bonuses and dues and continuous subtraction of salaries, inequality, corruption o the company officials and violating workers’ working rights. The most important protests were done by the workers of the Agrarian Research Center, garbage collectors and street cleaners in Cairo and Giza, subway and railway workers, nurses of Banha University Hospital and Cairo teachers.
 
Then the report presents workers’ protests in the private sector, stating that there were 30 protests that have varied between 10 sit-ins, 11 gatherings, 8 strikes and one demonstration. The report discussed the reasons for these protests, like not receiving their financial dues, arbitrariness of the administrative bodies, arbitrary firing, violating workers’ insurance rights and closing down factories. The most important protests were done by the workers of the bakery and poultry shop owners, the National Company for Pipes, Ceramica Cleopatra and MAC for Carpets.
 
At the last section, the report presents some recommendations, like:

-Stop selling the companies owned by the state and the public business sector.

-Specify a minimum limit for fess and salaries.

-Fixing temporary employment.

-Guaranteeing workers’ rights to protest, demonstrate, sit-in, strike and assemblage.

-Cooperation among workers, their leaders and the relevant institutions that undertake their rights and interests.
 
Through this report, the LCHR asserts the necessity of adopting alternative policies to rise with the society and improve the conditions of the economic, social and civil rights.
 
LCHR call all Egyptian CSOs, political parties and members of the People’s Assembly to unite in solidarity with the demands of the Egyptian workers, stop the stealing and seizure of Egyptian wealth and lands, and guarantee their rights to safe working opportunities, fair fees and decent living.
 
The full report will be published on our website as soon as we finish the translation

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