Textile workers at the Misr Spinning Company in Mahalla are fighting for decent pay and conditions at work, and in defence of their right to organise and strike. A two-week long strike in August 2017 brought the company to a standstill and mobilised thousands of workers to demand the payment of delayed bonuses and changes to the company’s management. Since then, the company has locked out workers it claims organised the strike and reported them to the police.
Eight workers from Mahalla are facing victimisation by company management and repression by the Egyptian authorities after managers singled them out on charges of organising the two-week long strike which mobilised thousands of workers in August this year. On 9 September, Misr Spinning management suspended two women (Wala’a Mohamed Abd-al-Ra’uf and Nagwa Sa’ad Abd-al-Qadir) and four men (Mohamed Al-Sayyed Misbah, Amru Rifa’at Salama, Amir Gamal Hassan and Karim Hossam Isma’il) from work and reported them to the police on charges of “incitement to strike”, and “obstructing work”. Another worker, Yasser Fahmi has been forcibly transferred to Alexandria, while administrator Tala’at al-Umari has had his pay docked. The company also delayed payment of workers’ September pay packets. Meanwhile, riot police remain deployed across the town in a bid to pre-empt further protests.
What you can do:
- Sign the solidarity statement here (full list of signatures published below)
- Circulate the appeal for solidarity on social media
- Get your union branch to pass a resolution in solidarity with the strike and calling on the company and the Egyptian authorities to stop the victimisations and repression
Stand with Mahalla: Defend striking workers in Egypt
The workers of Misr Spinning and Weaving in Mahalla, Egypt have taken a courageous stand against poverty and repression. In August 2017, thousands of the company’s workers took part in a two-week strike and several protest marches, demanding the payment of bonuses and allowances which are added to their poverty-level wages. They have taken action despite threats and intimidation from the security forces, and in defiance of the Egyptian authorities who have a shameful track record of arresting and jailing trade union activists in attempts to crush a growing wave of workers’ strikes and protests in response to spiralling inflation following economic reforms demanded by the International Monetary Fund.
We declare our solidarity with the workers of Mahalla and their families. We condemn the victimisation of workers by the Misr Spinning company management, which has locked out a number of workers and reported them to the police on charges of “incitement to strike”, while delaying the payment of wages for the whole workforce. We call on the Egyptian authorities to respect Egyptian workers’ right to strike and organise and to stop arresting and jailing trade unionists. We call on the global trade union movement to mobilise in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Egypt in their struggle for justice.
Petros Constantinou, Councillor, Athens Municipality, Greece; Ian Hodson, National President, BFAWU (Bakers and Food workers’ Union) UK; Tony Phillips, Branch Secretary, UNISON London Fire Authority; Abbey Berghaus, Head Steward, United Auto Workers 2865, USA; Professor Joel Beinin, Stanford University, USA; Sasha Simic, Shop Steward, C133, USDAW (Shop and Distribution workers’ Union); Professor Bob Brecher, University of Brighton, UK; Professor Alex Callinicos, Kings College London, UK; Linda Gomaa, Regional Organizer, Turkey, International Union League for Brand Responsibility; Michael Thomson, New South Wales State Secretary, National Tertiary Education Union, Australia; Mike Treen, National Director, Unite Union, New Zealand; Carolyn Egan, President, United Steelworkers Local 8300, Canada
Full list of signatures and messages of support (20/09/2017)
|Mark||Abel||Chair, Coordinating Committee||UCU||UK|
|Riaz||Ahmed||Revolutionary Socialists Pakistan||Pakistan||
Down with the Egyptian military regime. Viva Egypt workers revolution!
|Robert||Aldred||York University Toronto||Canada|
Todas las personas adultas tienen derecho a un salario y a unas condiciones laborales dignos
|Yvon||Arendsen||n.a.||N.a.||Netherlands||Stay strong !!!|
I’m with the workers, their rights must be respected
|John||Baker||Former branch secretary||UCU (retired)||UK||
Stay strong; the world knows you’re fighting for all Egypt’s worker.
|Abbey||Berghaus||Head Steward||UAW 2865||United States|
Your struggle is an inspiration to us all.
In the end you will win.
The bravest people fighting for justice, unlike the coward politicians.
|Bryn||Buchanan||Rank and File Member||UAW 2865||United States of America||
This Black unionist has got your back.
Solidarity with Mahala workers
|Matthew||Bury||member||UCU / NUT||United Kingdom||
We declare our solidarity with the workers of Mahalla and their families. We condemn the victimisation of workers by the Misr Spinning company management, which has locked out a number of workers and reported them to the police on charges of “incitement to strike”,
|Gavin||Capps||Senior Researcher||University of the Witswatersrand||South Africa|
|Richard||Carabine||Health & Safety rep||UCU||UK|
For solidarity and democracy in Egypt and the Arab world
|Andy||Coles||Member||UCU (retired)||United Kingdom|
We stand with you in your struggle for justice.
You are the hope for million f workers in Egypt and around the world! Solidarty until victory!
|eileen||cook||branch convenor (personal capacity)||EIS/ULA||United Kingdom|
I wish you ever success in your struggle
|Jonathan||Crabtree Parker||Member||University & College Union||UK||
Stand firm against injustice!
|Ian||Crosson||UCU membership sec Poplar branch of Tower Hamlets College||UCU||United Kingdom||
Stop the victimisations. Decent rights and pay for all.
|C||Daniels||AEU member||AEU||Australia||No repression|
|Malcolm||Deans||Secretary, Unions Otago, New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, PSA delegate||Public Service Association||New Zealand||
Solidarity from fellow workers in New Zealand! Your fight is our fight!
|carolyn||egan||president||united steelworkers local 8300||canada|
|Barry||Eidlin||Assistant Professor of Sociology||McGill University||Canada|
I stand with Mahalla.
respect workers’ right to strike
freedom and dignity for Mahalla workers
|Prof. Donald||Filtzer||member||UCU||United Kingdom|
Don’t back down – stand together.
|Manzar||Foroohar||Member, former chapter president||California Faculty Association (CFA)||USA|
|Gaelle Anne||Fouere||France||Tahya Mahalla|
|Anne||Fox||I stand with the workers..Solidarity!||UNISON||United Kingdom||
Well done to the workers for great courage with the aim of justice.. NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!!
|Linda||Gomaa||Regional Organizer||International Union League for Brand Responsibility||Turkey|
|Julian||Goodare||Caseworker||University and College Union||United Kingdom|
|Connor||Gorman||Trustee||UC Student-Workers Union (UAW 2865)||U.S.|
|Ani||Hart||retired Union delegate||TWU||Australia||
Despite being victimised by the management at your employment – please stay strong. Your plight is being made known World wide with people from other Countries standing strong with you. What your company is doing to you is totally illegal and against human rights. Stay safe, solid and united.
|Wayne||Heimbach||Representative – Retired||SEIU||USA|
BFAWU sends its best wishes and solidarity
|Owen||Holland||–||University and College Union||UK|
It’s hard to find an adequate adjective for the primitive level of corporate mind that takes the rightful earnings of the most vulnerable for himself and spends it on himself. The quantity and depth of the embezzlement, fraud and theft amounts to more money than any country has ever known in either its GDP or GNP. It will be judged as criminal, the utmost in atrocities, and no one will ever again walk free.
Best wishes in your struggle
|mehdi||husaini||University College Union||University College Union||UK||
We stand with striking workers of Egypt
Your courageous struggle continues to inspire me. Solidarity.
|Gareth||Jenkins||University and College Union||UK|
|David||Johnson||organizer/retired||UNITEHERE||United States of America||
|Hannah||Kagan-Moore||Recording Secretary||UAW 2865||United States|
|Roger Keely||Keely||Comittee member Kirklees NUT UK||National Education Union||United Kingdom||
The future of the world depends on the solidarity of the workers, who produce the means of life for everyone.
|Dr Gillian||Kennedy||King’s College London||United Kingdom|
Solidarity with those victimised and all the courageous workers of Mahalla
Workers’ rights everywhere need to be defended. Keep up the struggle!
Solidarity to you with your strike. Be safe!
|Melanie||Lazarow||Life Member||National Tertiary Education Union||Australia||
A renewal and win for Egyptian workers is important internationally. solidarity
|Richard Sean||Leahy||Branch Chair||Unite||UK|
|Michael||Letwin||Former President||Association of Legal Aid Attorneys/UAW 2325||US||
Labor for Palestine, and Labor for Standing Rock
|Anna||Livingstone||Member||UNITE and the British Medical Association||UK||
Solidarity, the right to strike is a human rights issue and Mahalla workers need a living wage before the IMF insist on profits.
I support Egyptian workers right to strike and their struggle for freedom and democracy. Solidarity Socialist Workers Party.
The workers united will never be defeated. Solidarity.
Stay determined. Thousands around the world support you.
|Tarek||Mahmoud||member||Egyptian Press Syndicate||Egypt||
I support the just cause of the striking workers in Mahala and everywhere in Egypt. They are our hope for a real democratic change.
|Alexander||May||Retired Shop Steward||Unison||United Kingdom||
The workers of Mahalla have shown great courage by taking action to secure what they are entitled to. As a Shop Steward for 35 years I was involved in a number of strikes and actions. Hard as these were I did not face the sanctions our sisters and brothers in Egypt face. Trade Unions are a fundamental part of any state which claims to be a democracy. The world is watching Egypt. Remove the threats to these workers and families. Solidarity !
|Lesley||McBurney||Health and safety, union rep, retired||N.U.T.||England||
Your bravery and determination is an inspiration to us all.
|Tim||McCaskell||member||Ontario Secondary School Teachers Federation||Canada|
Resist exploitation of workers!
|Terry||McGinn||Member (Retired Rep)||Unite||UK||
Justice will prevail – never give up faith in truth
|Sheila||McGregor||Lay member||NUT||United Kingdom|
|Ian||Mckendrick||Communications officer and steward (Oxfordshire UNISON HEalth branch)||UNISON||UK|
|Amara||Miller||Union representative||UAW Local 2865||United States|
Solidarity with the heroic workers of Mahalla!
|Volkhard||Mosler||Member||Ver.di (Public Sector and Services Trade Union)||Germany|
|Bob||Mouncer||Community branch member||Unite||UK||Don’t give up|
|Arthur||Nicoll||Scottish Local Govt Committee Member||Unison||Scotlnd/UK||
The right to strike is a fundamental right in any democratic society.
|Peadar||O”Grady||Member||Irish Medical Organisation||Ireland||
An injury to one is an injury to all.
|eric||Olson||member||Universities and Colleges Union||United Kingdom|
Solidarity from Ireland
Thank for your fight
|Tony||Phillips||Branch Secretary||UNISON London Fire Authority||UK||
UNISON members in the London Fire Brigade support your fight for decent wages and for workers’ rights.
Best wishes in your struggle!
|Janet||Portman||Retired Unison Steward||Unison||England||
We must all stand together to fight injustice.
|Professor Malcolm||Povey||UCU rep||UCU||UK||United we stand|
All of us stay with you
|David||Radford||International Officer Oxford City Council Unison||Unison||U.K.||
Please respect the right to strike!
Your struggle for better conditions and salaries is not only important for democracy in Egypt but also for the whole Middle East and Europe
|Sian||Robetson||self employed||New Zealand|
Your struggle is our struggle
|Marco||Rosales||Rank & File Member||UAW 2875||United States|
|tippu||s||ucu||uk&i||End oppression !|
|Ayesha||Saleem||Member of Unite||Unite the Union||Scotland UK||
Soildarity with your Strike and Struggle against Trade Union Victimization and the Egyptian regime.
|Evan||Sandlin||UAW 2865||United States|
|Miriam||Scharf||International Officer Newham Teachers Association||NUT section of NEU||London||
Respect and solidarity for your brave and necessary industrial action.
Keep up the fight for better working conditions in Mahalla & throughout Egypt!
|Doug||Seidman||Union worker||United States|
|Eddie||Seymour||Member||Maritime Union of Australia||Australia||
We stand with you against the employer. Solidarity.
|Guy||Shennan||Member||Social Workers Union||United Kingdom||
Solidarity with trade unionists everywhere!
Workers United Will Never Be Defeated!
|Sasha||Simic||Shop Steward C133||USDAW||UK||
Trade Unionism is a Human Right! Solidarity with the Malhalla 8!
|Roddy||Slorach||Equalities rep||Imperial College UCU||United Kingdom|
Respect Egyptian workers’ right to strike and organise and stop arresting and jailing trade unionists
|Reinhard||Stranz||IG-Metall member (sacked)||GO (Gewerkschaftsopposition)||Germany||
Full solidarity from a blacklisted VW worker since 40 years
workers of the world unite!
|Marian||Swerdlow||Chapter Leader (retired)||United Federation of Teachers – AFT||USA||
The right to strike, to withhold labor, is a human right.
|P||t Hoen||Netherlands||Workers unite!|
|Michael||Thomson||NSW State Secretary||National Tertiary Education Union||Australia|
|Mike||Treen||National Director||Unite Union||New Zealand||
Kia Kaha – Be Strong!
|Monika||Ustad||Board member||Frivilligklubben, Fagforbundet Kultur Oslo||Norway|
|xoan anton||Vázquez Arango||SOLIDARIDAD OBRERA||España|
Defend the right to be a member of a union!
|Veronika||Wagner||UNITE shop steward||UNITE The Union||UK||
We Stand in Solidarity with Egyptian Workers
|Sean||Wallis||NEC member and UCL branch vice president||University Colleges Union||UK||
The Mahalla strikers are an inspiration to the world. Long may you resist oppression. You are our heroes. We know you will prevail.
|Maurice||Ward||Member||Tertiary Education Union||New Zealand||
Justice for workers in Egypt
I stand with the workers, who are only trying to support their families.
|Helmut||Weiss||Rank and file||LabourNet Germany||Germany||
In Defence of the basic democratic right to strike against the General`s regime in Egypt
We stand with your struggle. Workers of the world unite!
|Jon||Woods||Branch Chair||UNISON||United Kingdom||
Organising and striking against poverty is a human right. Solidarity with Egyptian workers and their trade unions. Victory to the Mahalia textile workers!
Solidarity Greetings in peace
|Duane||Wright||Rank-and-file||UC Student Worker Union UAW 2865||USA|