A landmark court decision has renationalised three companies, Shebin El-Kom Textile Company, the Tanta Company for Linen and Derivatives and the Steam Boilers Company. The final court session on the illegal privatisation of three Egyptian companies convened at Maglis Al-Dawla (the State Council, an administrative court) on Wednesday at 9am as crowds, activists and workers, gathered outside in solidarity.
Activists are calling it a tremendous victory for the labour movement and factory workers are in a state of elation outside the court, chanting: "Privatise it, privatise it but the workers will just return it [to the public sector]."
The three state companies were privatised during the Mubarak era under suspect circumstances and witnessed attempts by the new foreign management at eliminating the workforce and dismantling the factories. Members of a popular campaign aimed at re-nationalising three state companies had called for a demonstration in front of the State Council on Wednesday morning.
The popular campaign - coordinated by the Democratic Labour Party, the Socialist Revolutionaries, the National Front for Justice and Democracy, and the Press Syndicate’s Freedoms Committee - has so far succeeded in gathering 100,000 signatures in support of its twin objectives of halting Egypt’s so-called “privatisation process” and overturning a recent law banning labour strikes.