Leaders of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions (KCTU) added their voices to the worldwide condemnation of the military trial of Alexandria Shipyard workers with a statement published on Friday. The verdict in the trial is expected on Sunday, and the 26 workers could face 3 years in jail. KCTU Acting President Choi Jong Jin and KCTU Secretary General Lee Young-joo said that the repression faced by workers fighting for their rights in Egypt was all too familiar to Korean trade unionists, who have also faced severe crackdowns in recent years.
We are well-aware of from our own history in which the workers have put to an end to military dictatorship and built KCTU that even the most brutal government cannot stop the workers and people pushing the wheel of the history forward … We, the undersigned, would like to deliver our grave warning to the Egyptian authorities that workers and people will rise against the repression and we demand the followings:
*Stop military trial for Alexandria Shipyard workers and release them immediately!
*Egypt authorities should guarantee all the rights for the workers to organize independently and to take actions.
Other messages of support for the Shipyard workers came from leaders of the Greek seamen’s union and the Piraeus dockers union, and from shipyard workers in Rosyth, Scotland. Electricians who led a hundreds-strong strike earlier this week told Egypt Solidarity,
Pass on a message of solidarity from all the Balfour and CBL guys at the boats … Wish them all the best and if there’s anything we can do let us know … That’s what you call balls – Solidarity to our brothers in Alexandria”
Trade unionists from Portsmouth in England also joined the solidarity call, with members of the city’s UNISON branch and RMT (Rail, Maritime and Transport) union branch taking solidarity pictures and pledging their support for the campaign. Messages of support also came in from York, Istanbul and the USA.
What you can do
- Share the letter from Egyptian trade unionists calling for global solidarity with the shipyard workers with trade union colleagues: https://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/alexshipyardopenletter/” The letter and solidarity calls are also available in other languages: [한국어] [ελληνικά] [français] [Español] [português]
- Send a message to President Sisi of Egypt calling on him to free the shipyard workers and end military trials for civilians. Write to: Office of the President Al Ittihadia Palace, Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt, Fax: +202 2 391 1441, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter: @AlsisiOfficial
- Organise a solidarity picture and share with us on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/egypt.solidarity.initiative/) and Twitter (@Egy_Solidarity). Download posters for your action here: https://egyptsolidarityinitiative.files.wordpress.com/2016/06/alexshipyard_a4poster.pdf
Background resources and further information are online here: https://egyptsolidarityinitiative.org/alexshipyard