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  • Published in International

Egyptian revolutionary Mohamed Atef writes from Cairo with a brief background to the workers struggle in recent weeks.

nurses protest with doctors at cabinet headquarters September 2011(Photo: Mai Shaheen)

There was a massive rise in workers struggles beginning with the strike wave in the last days of Mubarak’s rule and rising sharply after he fell.

But during the last three weeks there's been a relative decline in the labour movement due to the excessive violence and brutal aggression used by the military against Copts demonstrations which reached its peak on 9th October. On that day a demonstration of Copts was assaulted by the military and 26 were left dead, 420 injured and 28 were detained.  Copts were the sheep sacrificed in order to frighten the movement. It was a direct response by the regime to the escalation of strikes and development of the labour movement witnessed in previous months. 

Below I give a list of some of the main strikes which I collected from many Egyptian websites concerned with the labour movement, press releases from strikers and other sources. They mainly concern strikes in  August and September.

Some of these strikes developed into a general strike in the public sector involving Public Transport workers, hospital workers and teachers. According to Monitoring Centers for Labour Movement, it was estimated that in August there were 21 strikes, 19 demonstrations, 18 protests. 1 worker committed suicide and 1035 workers were sacked. In September there were 20 sit-ins, 17 strikes, 6 demonstrations, 11 protests. Some 3650 workers were sacked, 254 injured and 3 killed.

Here is the fuller list of actions:

  • Workers of the new investments factories in Port Said
  • Employees of Alexandria Opera House
  • Workers and employees of Cairo Underground (Metro)
  • Doctors, workers, employees and technicians of Health sector
  • Mahala Textile Factory workers
  • Petroleum drilling workers in Suez and other governorates
  • Monofeya Textile factory in Al Monofeya
  • Employees of The Egyptian Museum
  • Employees of the Egyptian Communications Co.
  • Workers of Alexandria Oil Co.
  • Workers of Egypt- Iran textile Co. (were assaulted by the military left many workers injured)
  • Workers of The Egyptian General Book Association- Ministry Of Culture
  • Workers of the Public Transport
  • Workers of Union Air co.
  • Workers of Al Hawamdeya Sugar Factory
  • Workers of Alexandria Textile Co.
  • Teachers
  • Postmen