Four workers, participating in a sit-in, were arrested Saturday by military police. The sit-in was in protest at the firing of 1,200 workers. On Tuesday, the military prosecution extended the four workers’ detention by another 15 days to allow for further investigations.
In the meantime, activists released a statement condemning the arrest of the workers as well as Petrojet, the company which fired them. The statement, signed by seven different parties and organisations in addition to several other international activists, states: “We do not understand how the International Labor Organisation (ILO) removed Egypt from its blacklist when the government and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) continue to violate workers’ rights, especially their right to strike.”
The ILO removed Egypt from its blacklist after the January 25 Revolution. Egypt was on the list for its violations of international agreements relating to syndicate freedoms.
Egypt’s current interim government, however, passed a law criminalising strikes -- also approved by the SCAF -- which many rights activists have condemned, calling the law undemocratic and a continuation of labour rights violations.
The statement released also condemned on-going interrogations of doctors who have taken part in a nation-wide strike to demand higher wages for medical employees.