Stand with Mahalla – Defend striking workers in Egypt

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
Solidarity statement

Add your name here

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
Daniel Anton ver.di Germany
Yvon Arendsen n.a. N.a. Netherlands Stay strong !!!
Monica Ascanelli CGIL Italy ITALY
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.
Mona Baker UK
Joel Beinin USA
Abbey Berghaus Head Steward UAW 2865 United States
Alain Bihr SUD Education France
Julia Bishop Member UCU UK
Susan Blackwell member FNV Netherlands
Your struggle is an inspiration to us all.
Berna Bogers
Prof Bob Brecher member UCU UK
In the end you will win.
Geoff Brown Unite United Kingdom
Stephen Brown United Kungdom
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.
Andy Buerki member UCU Wales
Nusrat Bukhari Rep Unison United Kingdom
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”,
Elena Cal Spain
Maria Cal España
Alex Callinicos UCU UK
Gavin Capps Senior Researcher University of the Witswatersrand South Africa
Richard Carabine Health & Safety rep UCU UK
Cienfuegos González
CCOO Spain
david cobham member UCU UK
For solidarity and democracy in Egypt and the Arab world
Andy Coles Member UCU (retired) United Kingdom
Emma Collison UK
We stand with you in your struggle for justice.
Petros Constantinou councilor Athens municipality Greece
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
Scott Cooke NUT United Kingdom
Anne Cooper Unite Uk
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
Ben Davies UK
Francesco De Lellis Italy
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
Judith Ekins branch exec UCU UK
Hugo Endert Member FNV Nederland
I stand with Mahalla.
Matthew Evans UK
Michael W Evans USA
Barry Ewart Member UCU/Unite Community UK
International Solidarity!
John Faulkner Member UCU UK
Dianne Feeley UAW United Sttes
respect workers’ right to strike
Harry Feldman Australia
giulia filpi italy
freedom and dignity for Mahalla workers
Prof. Donald Filtzer member UCU United Kingdom
Jenifer Flintoft UK
Don’t back down – stand together.
James Foley Rep UCU U.K.
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!!
B Foy Unite Wales
Sadie Fulton United States
Philip Gasper USA
Simon Gilbert Member UNITE UK
Fernand Gobet Member UCU UK
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.
cecile gouzee none none Belgium
joseph gravina member MUT Malta
Alan Haggard United States
Dean Harris Unison United Kingdom
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
Ian Hodson National president BFAWU Uk
BFAWU sends its best wishes and solidarity
Owen Holland University and College Union UK
Janet Hudgins CUPE (Retired) Canada
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.
jeffrey hurford nobe none UK
Best wishes in your struggle
mehdi husaini University College Union University College Union UK
We stand with striking workers of Egypt
faten hussein UK
Celia Hutchison Steward (pc) Prospect UK
Your courageous struggle continues to inspire me. Solidarity.
Michel Huysseune ACOD-ABVV Belgium
Mona Imam Egypt
Nick James Member Unite UK
Maria Jansson Sweden
Gareth Jenkins University and College Union UK
David Johnson organizer/retired UNITEHERE United States of America
Solidarity Forever
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
Charlie Kimber Editor Socialist Worker UK
Solidarity with those victimised and all the courageous workers of Mahalla
Richard Kotter member UCU UK Keep strong
Sonja Krautwald Germany
VALERIE LANNON n/a n/a Canada
Workers’ rights everywhere need to be defended. Keep up the struggle!
Zoe Lawlor Member Unite Ireland
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
Maire Leadbeater New Zealand
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
Helen Lewarne
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.
Zachary Lockman USA
Raymond Long UK
I support Egyptian workers right to strike and their struggle for freedom and democracy. Solidarity Socialist Workers Party.
Raymond Long UK
The workers united will never be defeated. Solidarity.
Marisa Long None None United Kingdom
Stay determined. Thousands around the world support you.
Amira Maarouf Canada
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.
Emma Major Member UCU U.K.
Jessica Martin United States
Ursula Mathern Deutschland
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
Susan McEwen USA
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
John Molyneux retired Ireland
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.
Sylvie Nony Snes France
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
Stephen Oren n/a n/a USA
Declan Owens Ireland
Solidarity from Ireland
barrie payne UCU UK
Yolanda Pellicer Spain
Thank for your fight
António Pereira Portugal
Andy Pettit Unite United Kingdom
Karen Pfeifer USA
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.
Marilyn Polan Member UCU UK
Best wishes in your struggle!
Neil Pollick none none UK
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
Nicola Pratt Departmental representative UCU UK
Janneke Prins Member FNV Holland
Victoria R. Dominguez Afiliada CCOO Spain
All of us stay with you
David Radford International Officer Oxford City Council Unison Unison U.K.
Please respect the right to strike!
Andrea Ricci Germany
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
Javier Rodriguez STACYL Spain
Neil Rogall UCU UK
Your struggle is our struggle
Marco Rosales Rank & File Member UAW 2875 United States
Liz Ross Retired unionist CPSU Australia Solidarity!
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.
Christian Schroeppel ver.di Germany
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!
Stavros Sideras Member PEO Cyprus
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
Alexa Staffler
Susan Stout retired Unifor Canada
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
Mark Summerfield Member UCU United Kingdom
Jenny Sutton Branch Secretary UCU UK
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!
Sandra Turner member UNITE UK Be strong
Monika Ustad Board member Frivilligklubben, Fagforbundet Kultur Oslo Norway
Marianne van Ophuijsen lid WILPF Nederland
xoan anton Vázquez Arango SOLIDARIDAD OBRERA España
Reinhold Waber Germany
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
James Watts N/A N/A United Kingdom
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
Heleen Witte FNV Nederlsnd
Tom Woodcock Member NUT UK
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!
Pam Wortley Unite United Kingdom
Solidarity Greetings in peace
Duane Wright Rank-and-file UC Student Worker Union UAW 2865 USA
Patrick Yarker UCU United Kingdom