Strikes and struggles in post-revolution Egypt
Post-revolution labour strikes, social struggles on rise in Egypt
Click here to add Assiut Cement as an alert
Disable alert for Assiut Cement,
Click here to add Economic Rights as an alert
Disable alert for Economic Rights,
Click here to add Egyptian Centre for Social as an alert
Disable alert for Egyptian Centre for Social,
Click here to add Egyptian Centre for Social and Economic Rights as an alert
Disable alert for Egyptian Centre for Social ...,
Click here to add Hisham Qandil as an alert
Disable alert for Hisham Qandil,
Click here to add Hosni Mubarak as an alert
Disable alert for Hosni Mubarak,
Click here to add Ideal as an alert
Disable alert for Ideal,
Click here to add International Development Centre as an alert
Disable alert for International Development ...,
Click here to add International Monetary Fund as an alert
Disable alert for International Monetary Fund,
Click here to add Mohamed Morsi as an alert
Disable alert for Mohamed Morsi,
Click here to add Nile Ginning Cotton Company as an alert
Disable alert for Nile Ginning Cotton Company,
Click here to add Omar Effendi as an alert
Disable alert for Omar Effendi,
Click here to add Shebin El-Kom Textiles Company as an alert
Disable alert for Shebin El-Kom Textiles Company,
Click here to add Steam Boilers Company as an alert
Disable alert for Steam Boilers Company,
Click here to add Tanta for Flax and Oil as an alert
Disable alert for Tanta for Flax and Oil
The Egyptian Centre for Social and Economic Rights (ECESR) on Sunday issued a new report documenting labour strikes that took place in Egypt last year.
According to the report, in 2012, Egypt witnessed 1,969 protests by workers – in the government, public and private sectors – marking a considerable increase compared to 2010, when only 530 protests were recorded.
The 2012 protests listed in the report represent one of the highest levels of social struggle worldwide and include demonstrations, sit-ins, road blockages and strikes.
Thirty-six percent of these protests were staged to demand better pay, the report stated, going on to note that roughly five major labour protests per day were currently taking place in Egypt.
The report went on to assert that some 380 protests had been held to protest unemployment or demand permanent work contracts.
Another 70, meanwhile, had been prompted by arbitrary practices by management against workers.
The report further cited around 111 protests against 'corrupt' or 'failed' managements. It cited another 29 industrial actions in which workers demanded the re-operating of factories and companies, in addition to the reopening of companies that had been renationalized via court order.
Labour rights activists and ECESR lawyers have succeeded in winning court verdicts ordering the renationalisation of several privatised companies, including the Steam Boilers Company, Omar Effendi, Ideal, Assiut Cement, Nile Ginning Cotton Company, Shebin El-Kom Textiles Company, and Tanta for Flax and Oil.
Many of these verdicts, however, were never applied. Recently, Prime Minister Hisham Qandil was slapped with a suspended one-year jail sentence for failing to implement an administrative court ruling ordering the renationalisation of Egypt's Tanta Flax and Oil Company.
According to a recent report by the International Development Centre, an Egyptian rights organisation, Egypt is currently witnessing a sharp spike in labour and other social protests, with 1,354 protests recorded in March alone compared to 864 protests during the previous month. This means an average of 44 protests per day, or 1.8 protests every hour.
The report also states that the protests were held by 40 different social categories, with most being staged by politically unaffiliated individuals.
The vast majority of protests involved labour rights and rising fuel prices, the report added.
Within the past two years, the report went on, major strikes in Egypt involved railway workers, public transport workers, doctors and police officers.
After the January 25 Revolution ousted former president Hosni Mubarak, expectations were high that many of Egypt's social and economic woes – which many saw as the triggers of the uprising – would be minimised, and that demands for better working conditions and pay would be met.
According to the ECESR report, however, the number of strikes increased when President Mohamed Morsi won the elections, after which hopes were high for economic stability following months of uncertainty.
However, since 2011, Egypt has instead seen weak economic growth and rising costs of living. Government attempts to reduce subsidies have also led to rising prices for basic utilities, including electricity and natural gas.
What's more, the local currency has suffered a sharp devaluation this year due to dwindling foreign currency reserves.
The government is currently trying to modify an economic reform plan in hopes of obtaining a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund after the latter deemed an earlier plan 'weak.' A modified version of the plan is expected to further reduce energy subsidies and raise sales taxes.
- US, EU protectionist policies may be a blessing in disguise for GCC suppliers
- Dubai to Doha: How far can you stretch your dirham?
- Tunisia 2020 investment conference: 145 mega projects on offer
- GCC tax on expats' income and remittances would be highly regressive: IMF
- 'The worst is over for Qatar's trade balance': BMI Research
- Five years on, Egyptians take to Twitter to mark the 2011 revolution
- Kuwait Oil Company workers protest plans for privatization
- Egypt 2.0: Struggling to create a post-revolution economy
- An unhealthy democracy? Egypt's doctors to go on strike to protest working conditions
- Iranian Workers Stage Protest March to Mark May Day