Egyptian labour to protest 'Brotherhoodisation,' assault on co-workers

Ahram Online, Sunday 10 Feb 2013

Employees of a textile company in a town known for labour strikes, Mahalla, will protest alleged attacks on their colleagues by Brotherhood members meant to silence opposition

Workers at the state-owned Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving Company will march on Tuesday to protest the Muslim Brotherhood's failure to realise the revolution's demands.

The march will start at the company and head off to El-Shon Square in the industrial city of  Mahalla in the Nile Delta.

"The revolution's demands have not been met, neither have the workers' demands for justice and a minimum wage," labour activist Kamal El-Fayoumi tells Ahram Online.

El-Fayoumi adds that the workers object any form of "Brotherhoodisation" of the state, echoing the calls for the formation of a national salvation government to represent all Egyptians.

Tuesday's protests are also organised to denounce recent assaults targeting workers in the textile producing city known for their loud criticism to the Muslim Brotherhood.

El-Fayoumi claims that two of his colleagues at the textile company were assaulted by members of the Freedom and Justice Party (the Muslim Brotherhood's political arm) and were warned not to join anti-government rallies.

One of the workers, Mohamed Gamal, was kidnapped Wednesday; tortured, stripped of his clothes and dumped on the Tanta-Mahalla Road, claims El-Fayoumi.

"Gamal told us that he was beaten by members of the Freedom and Justice Party because they know how active he is

"They are trying to scare the workers so the revolution will lose one of its main assets: the workers," adds El-Fayoumi.

El-Fayoumi cites another alleged assault. Employee Reda Omaira was allegedly assaulted, his motorcycle was damaged and was threatened with direct injury if he chanted against the Brotherhood.

Like Gamal, El-Fayoumi says Omaira also blames the Brotherhood for the assault.

The Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving Company, which, as the largest textile manufacturer in Egypt, has some 24,000 employees, has seen a series in strikes within the last 18 months.

Strikes by Mahalla’s textile workers in 2006 and 2008 are widely seen as having partially set the stage for the Tahrir Square uprising in 2011, which culminated in the ouster of Egypt’s longstanding president Hosni Mubarak.


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