Workers at the bathroom units factory in Tenth Ramadan City near Zagazig in Sharqiyya Governorate have been occupying their factory since March 2013 in protest at the dismissal of their trade union committee. Gangs of thugs accompanied by some of the company foremen attacked the sit-in on 21 April. Conditions in the factory are very dangerous and injuries are common. Workers carry on average 1400kg of raw materials a day to the furnaces and suffer infections from the high levels of pollution. Workers’ demands include a payment for hazardous work and 28 days’ annual holiday.
They sent the following appeal for solidarity to the trade union movement in the UK as a labour court was set to consider a malicious prosecution of key union activists on 2 May 2013.
“The trade union committee at Ideal Standard Egypt appeals to the trade unions in the UK for solidarity in the face of abuse and oppression from our factory management. We dared to demand workers’ rights, payment of our allowances for hazardous work of LE300 (£30) and 28 days leave a year, as is our right according to Labour Law of 2007. In response management ordered the closure of the factory, sacked the trade union committee and prevented us from entering the factory since 3 March until today.
Our managers made malicious reports about us and issued proceedings in the Labour Courts on 2, 3 and 4 April but the case was postponed until 2 May. Workers took over the factory and continued production under their control. Production reached 85% of normal levels, but it was managers who cut off the gas supply to the factory on 5 April, demonstrating their bad faith.”
Signed: Hisham Mohammed Zaid (President) and Khaled Mohammed Zaid Ahmed, Ahmed Saber Ahmed, Ezz al-Arab, Mohammed Abd-al-Al, Ahmed Youssef, Hussein Khamis, Hussein Ragab, Mohammed al-Sayyid Mohammed (Committee members)
What you can do
- Send a message of protest to Ideal Standard via firstname.lastname@example.org demanding the immediate reinstatement of the union committee in the Tenth of Ramadan factory
- Send a message of solidarity to the Ideal Standard workers via email@example.com or our Facebook page. Solidarity sign available to download here: ideal_standard_solidarity
- Send a letter of protest to the Egyptian authorities calling on them to respect workers’ rights to organise and strike
- Download this leaflet about Egyptian workers’ fight for social justice for your May Day events or union meeting: mayday_leaflet_egy2013