23 March, 2010

Workers to protest privatization, demand minimum wage

Here's a (very) quick translation of parts of a statement (via Hossam al-Hamalawy) being circulated by several workers' groups in Egypt, calling for a demonstration in downtown Cairo on April 3: 
"We want to reach to poverty line
Stop the politics of privatization

Under these slogans, the labour and civil groups that have signed this statement will organize a protest meeting outside the cabinet, at 11 am on April 3, demanding a minimum monthly wage of no less than 1200 egyptian pounds, to be raised annually according to the rate of inflation, as well as an end to the waste of public funds through the politics of privatization."

(The statement goes on to criticize the national council of wages - consisting of representatives of the government, unions, and business organizations - for not fulfilling its role and making sure that wages keep pace with prices...) 

"Down with the politics of making workers poor, destroying Egyptian industry, and sacrificing workers rights in order to attract foreign capital - that never comes because of corruption, political tyranny, the imposition of emergency laws and the absence of democracy. 

What has the politics of selling and wasting public funds in the name of privatization brought except more destruction through kicking the workers out and halting production in order to sell the land of the companies and factories, after first using it as a security to obtain loans from the banks?

We call for all wage workers in Egypt to join the demonstration in order to defend our right to life.

Workers Preparatory Committee
The independent tax collectors union URETA
Postal workers committee 
Mahalla Textile Workers League
The Egyptian center for economic and social rights
Journalists without rights
Sons of the earth
Al-Hilali foundation for freedom
Workers union of Suez
Railway Workers
Workers Solidarity Committee
Nasr Car Workers
The Workers preparatory committee in Alexandria"