In Egypt, after the independent trade unions were prevented from holding their May 1st conference in the Press Syndicate, as planned, the conference took place at the Center for Trade Union and Worker Services. 300 workers representing unions and various trade sectors from all of Egypt’s governorates requested the government to cancel all legal restraints on the rights of workers to form their independent unions and the issuance of a union law according to article 76 of the Egyptian constitution and international labor agreements (ILO C98 and C87).
The rally comes in a climate of severe crack down on public space in Egypt, especially for civil society, journalists, human rights defenders and independent trade unions. Security forces have been given free rein to use excessive force, including live ammunition against demonstrators. Travel bans, the use of prolonged pretrial detention as a punitive measure, government lawsuits attempting to dissolve independent trade unions are all common practices that close the space for independent trade unions and civil society.
In 2000, the Centre for Trade Union and Workers’ Services in Egypt was the SOLIDAR Silver Rose Award winner for their work to promote workers’ rights whilst being detained on various occasions by the Egyptian State Security.
Currently, SOLIDAR continues to support the independent trade union movements and civil society in Egypt to mobilise for social justice.
Read here for more information about SOLIDAR positions and joint work on Egypt: