UNITE the union’s policy conference in Brighton heard from workers’ struggles across the globe and closer to home, at a fringe meeting organised by Unite the Resistance on 26 June. Mostafa Bassiouny, Egyptian journalist and revolutionary socialist activist spoke alongside striking Asturian miner Segundo Menendez Collar, blacklisted electrician Steve Acheson and Russ Ball, UNITE stand-down official at the Coryton Oil Refinery. Other speakers included Zita Holbourne from the PCS National Executive and healthworker activist Gill George from UNITE.
The common theme running through the meeting was the need to build and link up the struggles against austerity and neo-liberalism. “Egyptian workers played a key role in the revolution” Mostafa told the meeting. “When the mainstream political parties wanted to end the revolution with the fall of Mubarak, their strikes and protests continued.” The victory of the Muslim Brotherhood’s candidate, Mohammed Morsi, in the presidential elections was a blow against the counter-revolution, he added. “But there are huge battles to come, as the Brotherhood’s economic programme is essentially the same neo-liberal policies as the old regime.”
Dozens of delegates signed the MENA Solidarity statement against the Egyptian military’s attacks on democratic freedoms in recent weeks.