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Union announces strike following leaders kidnapping

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ETUF demands government’s resignation, several trade unions condemn attack

The Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF) announced Wednesday that a strike will be held within their headquarters until kidnappedlabour union leaders and Ministry of Labour leaders are released.

ETUF Chairman Abdul Fattah Ibrahim said: “It is disgraceful that my colleagues are kidnapped while we remain inactive,” adding that they would work continuously for the colleagues’ release.

Four individuals were kidnapped Tuesday near the Ahmed Hamdi tunnel in Sinai.

The hostages include President of General Union of Tourism Mamdouh Mohammadi Mohamed Ahmed, General Secretary Mamdouh Riad Mohamed, Deputy President of the Union Mohamed Gendy and First Undersecretary of the Ministry of Labour of Oyoun Moussa Mohammed Issa.

They were abducted on their way to the city of SharmEl-Sheikh to attend the mass rally worker conference organised by ETUF, which was scheduled to be held on Thursday. The federation claimed that their vehicle was found abandoned with their money and belongings untouched.

The conference was organised to voice the workers’ support for the constitution and is to be chaired by ETUF chairman and the governor of South Sinai.

The World Federation of Trade Unions, claiming to represent 86 million workers worldwide, said in a statement that they denounce the “terrorist attack against the ETUF”.

After a meeting at the federation headquarters, members called on the government to resign and “purify” the federation from “traitors and agents”.

During the meeting, Ibrahim called on civil society organisations, revolutionaries and political parties to take action before he chanted against the government.

The federation said that they are constantly meeting with family members and are in direct contact with security officials until the hostages are released.

ETUF is the largest union representing both farmers and labourers across the country.  Its membership totals six million, and it claims to “shelter” and represent another 25 million.


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