Egypt: Airport workers’ battle against the generals’ candidate

Na’amat Gaber, one on the founders of the Independent Union of Workers in the Maintenance and Technical Works Co. at Cairo Airport talks about why she is a trade unionist, and what the revolution means to her.

Workers at Cairo International Airport and the Civil Aviation Ministry have organised a courageous campaign against Ahmad Shafiq, the military’s candidate for the presidency. A public meeting called by the airport workers’ independent union during the second round of the presidential elections to expose Shafiq’s corrupt past as Minister of Civil Aviation was attacked and shut down by thugs.

Undeterred, the Independent Union of Workers at the Maintenance and Technical Works Co. at Cairo Airport mobilised a protest by hundreds of civil aviation workers in the airport on 11 June against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and Shafiq. Passengers and workers chanted together: “They got rid of a pilot [Mubarak] and brought in another one [Shafiq] – Get out, Council of Shame” “Listen to the mother of the martyr – I want my rights and my children’s rights!”

The resurgence of the old regime, with Shafiq at its head, will put the airport workers’ unions in the frontline of the battle to defend the revolution.

What you can do:

  • Rush messages of support to the Cairo Airport workers’ independent unions via copy to
  • Pass this model motion through your union branch / trades council
  • Send a letter of protest to the Egyptian authorities via the Egyptian embassy in London condemning the recent attacks on democratic freedoms
  • Print out these signs and take photos to send us ( or
  • Invite a speaker from MENA Solidarity Network to address your union branch about current events and report from the recent delegation to Egypt. Contact us by email
  • Look out for further information here about other developments in this campaign and share widely.

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