Help keep the Egyptian revolution alive

Air-traffic controllers, busdrivers, journalists,academics,and nurses,among thousands of others have been back on the streets of Egypt demanding that the interim military government deliver on the demands of theirrevolution. Help add your voice to theirs by signing the globalpetition calling on the Egyptian government to enact a trade union law tofinally give Egyptians their rights at work.

This is a key demand of the movement that was best put to me by NawlaDarwiche, from the New Woman Foundation in Cairo who was in London earlier inSeptember as a guest of Amnesty International. Research carried out by herorganisation found that most women garment workers have been getting povertywages of $30 to $60 a month, and many have been the victim of sexualharassment.

These women were at the forefront of the January revolution and havesuccessfully demanded a rise in the minimum wage to about $120 a month – still barely enough to meet the basic needs of a family. But todeliver real dignity at work they are absolutely clear: employers andgovernments need to respect their rights at work, and especially to respect their right to form and join their own trade unions.

Yet these demands risk getting swept aside during Egypt’s fragiletransition. The interim government, overseen by a military council has banned strikes,and is threatening to roll back hard wonfreedoms for women. And the upcoming elections might simply return anothervariety of Mubarak-era stooges hostile to workers’ rights.

So we need to apply maximum pressure right now. Please take a moment to sign the globalpetition for an Egyptian labour law and spread the word. The petition hasgot a good response so far, but Egyptian workers need and deserve a brilliantresponse.

 (By Ben Moxham, TUC) 

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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