Egypt workers flood Tahrir Square for ‘social justice’

CAIRO — Thousands of workers packed into Cairo's Tahrir Square on Sunday, demanding social justice in post-revolt Egypt as they celebrate their first Labour Day in three decades without ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

CAIRO — Thousands of workers packed into Cairo’s Tahrir Square on Sunday, demanding social justice in post-revolt Egypt as they celebrate their first Labour Day in three decades without ousted president Hosni Mubarak.

Speakers representing independent labour unions took to the stage in the square — epicentre of anti-regime protests that brought Mubarak down — calling for the independence of syndicates, a minimum wage and the trial of corrupt union heads.

Waving Egyptian, Libyan, Syrian and communist party flags, they chanted “Social Justice,” as security forces and military police looked on, clearing the way for traffic in Cairo’s bustling centre.

A statement signed by 49 organisations including the Coalition of Revolution Youth, political parties, leftist groups, independent unions, NGOs and rights groups called for a minimum monthly wage of 1,500 Egyptian pounds (around $250, 169 euros), and a wage ceiling to “ensure fair distribution of wealth.”

They also called for the Mubarak-affiliated trade unions to have their assets frozen.

Hussein Megawer, former head of the state-controlled Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) is currently being investigated for corruption as part of a sweeping probe launched by the country’s new military rulers.

Earlier, Prime Minister Essam Sharaf called on workers to help get “the wheel back in motion” after the country was practically paralysed by 18 days of anti-regime protests in January and February and has since been inching towards normality.

When Mubarak stepped down on February 11, handing power to a military council, political protests gave way to a nationwide explosion of pay strikes.

Workers have longed complained of a salary gap between management and staff, and say many workers have no benefits and legal protection, having worked on temporary contracts for years.

The Mubarak regime had also denied Egyptian workers the right to organise independent trade unions, which saw Egyptian syndicates banned from the International Labour Conference.


Palestinian Workers

The government’s decision to massively import overseas workers is social lawlessness, a disaster for both the economy and security. It must be revoked and Palestinians must be allowed to return to their jobs in Israel

Wednesday, May 15, the Israeli government approved a structural reform on employment of migrant workers where it allowed a ceiling of 330,000 overseas workers in the Israeli job market. MAAN sees this decision as a step that defies all economic logic, contradicts labor market planning, and opens the way to a dangerous expansion of human trafficking for labor purposes in Israel. In addition, the decision reflects complete disregard for the consequences of the continued halt in employment of Palestinians.

The East Jerusalem Project

Severe employment crisis in East Jerusalem ahead of Ramadan

On the eve of Ramadan, Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem are facing an economic and social crisis exacerbated by a 7.6 per cent increase in unemployment since the outbreak of the war. Despite the crisis, the government is severely undermining its own five-year plan for East Jerusalem. MAAN Workers Association (hence MAAN) calls on the mayor and the incoming city council to secure budgets to reduce socio-economic gaps in the city.

Palestinian Workers

MAAN and Kav Laoved write to Immigration and Population Authority and demand to reserve a place in the quota for Palestinian workers with a permit who resigned/fired during the “Iron Swords” war

The two workers’ rights groups wrote on Feb. 13 to Mr. Moshe Nakash the head of the Immigration and Population Authority and demanded that special measures will be taken to alleviate the suffering of Palestinian workers and also to enable Israeli employers to overcome the crisis and keep their experienced workers.


אנא כתבו את שמכם המלא, טלפון ותיאור קצר של נושא הפנייה, ונציג\ה של מען יחזרו אליכם בהקדם האפשרי.

رجاءً اكتبوا اسمكم الكامل، الهاتف، ووصف قصير حول موضوع توجهكم، ومندوب عن نقابة معًا سيعاود الاتصال بكم لاحقًا

As an organization committed to the rights of workers without distinction of religion, race, nationality, gender, or profession - democracy is our essence. We strongly oppose the authoritarian laws that the extreme government of Netanyahu, Lapid, Bennett, and Smotrich is attempting to impose.

Without democracy, there are no workers' rights, just as a workers' organization cannot exist under dictatorship.

only a victory of the democratic camp will enable a discussion on the Palestinian issue and lead to an alternative solution to occupation and apartheid while ensuring human rights and citizenship for all, Israelis and Palestinians alike. As long as the apartheid regime persists, the democratic camp will not succeed in defeating Israeli extremists. Therefore, we work to involve the Arab and Palestinian society in the protest.

We invite you:

To march with us in protests and to build an alternative, democratic, Jewish-Arab professional union in Israel. Join our quiet WhatsApp group today, "Marching with us in protest."

To join MAAN and unite workers in your workplace. Read here how to join the organization.

To follow MAAN's work on social networks.

Please write your full name, phone number, and a brief description of the subject of your inquiry, and a representative from our organization will get back to you as soon as possible.