Hisham Fouad, e-socialists.net
8 September 2011
(Translation by Shamal Ali, posted here)
In a meeting held, an hour ago, between labour leaders and the Minister for Work force the voice of 22 000 Mahalla Textile Company workers was finally heard when the Egyptian military government yielded to their demands. This positive response was the final effort taken by the Military Council in order to halt the series of strikes intended to commence next Saturday within the Mahalla Textile Company and extend to entire textile sector.
The member of the Caretaker Committee in the General Labour Federation and a labour leader in Mahalla Textile Company Wael Habib expects that the Cabinet will pass a resolution within the next hour. The resolution is set to be endorsing an increase in launch allowances by 100% to reach 210 Egyptian Pounds per month, and increase incentives by 200% for the workers receiving incentives less that 120 EP, 100% for those receiving incentives ranging between 200 and 300EP and 25% for managers and CEOs of public sectors and the good- performance incentives to commence after the company’s general assembly that is due to convene next November.
Kamal Alfayomi, member of the negotiating committee, was reported saying “the labour leaders met with the Minister for Workforce for 5 hours. During the entire negotiations the minister was in direct contact with the cabinet and the Military Council. We arrived at the end of these marathon negotiations to these results. We are awaiting a resolution signed by the Cabinet and the Military Council which endorses these demands”. He added “the decision to suspend the strike is in the hands of the workers of Mahalla Textile Company, who will be informed about the results and they will decide what their next step should be”.
Mustafa Abdul Aziz, another member of the Negotiating Committee, pointed out that if the resolution is not passed strikes will most certainly commence on Saturday. He also pointed out that the resolution will apply to all workers of the textile sector. He stressed the significance of this victory for the workers’ movement, which is under serious threat by the Military Council. He added that the victory of the workers of Mahalla Textile Company will send a message to all waged workers that the weapon of strike is the only way to win their rights.
The labour negotiating delegation with the Minister of Workforce involved nine labour leaders, four members of the union committee in the company, several representatives of the Coalition of the Youth of the Revolution in Mahalla Suburb and a member of the Caretaker Committee in General Labour Federation.
It is worth mentioning that the workers of the Mahalla Textile Company were asking for more investments in the company, increase launch allowances, increase incentive by 400% and for proficiency incentives to be dispensed.