CAIRO: NGO the Center for Trade Union and Workers Services (CTUWS) has condemned the sacking of a worker at the Ghazl El-Mahalla spinning factory as a “dangerous escalation and crude violation of basic labor standards.
Mostafa Fouda was informed on Thursday last week that he had been dismissed from his position at the state-owned spinning factory, which throughout its history has been a hotbed of industrial action.
Workers had planned to strike on Dec. 7, 2009 for better pay and conditions and the return of workers transferred from their positions in the Mahalla factory to other locations such as Alexandria, as a disciplinary measure.
In October 2008, hundreds of workers staged a protest against the alleged privatization of the factory.
Fouda was one of the workers who took part in the October 2008 protest and had also called for the Dec. 7 strike. “I’m being punished for doing something completely legitimate, asking for my rights, Fouda told Daily News Egypt.
The Dec. 7 strike was aborted because of threats from both the company’s administration and security bodies that workers who went on strike would be punished.
CTUWS says in its statement issued Tuesday that the decision to dismiss Fouda was based on Article 69 of the Egyptian labor law which renders strikes organized in violation of the conditions imposed under the law illegal and punishable by dismissal.
“Despite the fact that no strike happened, and Fouda was not questioned.and despite that there is nothing to justify his being held responsible for the strike – a strike which never took place – the company resorted to a much criticized part of the labor law, which prohibits the organization of strikes.
Fouda, who told Daily News Egypt that he has filed a complaint challenging the decision, will discuss the issue with the Ministry of Manpower office in Mahalla on Sunday.