Unions banned

I’m not clear on whether this is something that will be lifted when things calm down, or if this will be in effect until elections are held. If the latter, that means unions will be forbidden from organizing for an election slate:

CAIRO – Egypt’s new military rulers will issue a warning on Monday against anyone who creates “chaos and disorder”, an army source said.

The Higher Military Council will also ban meetings by labor unions or professional syndicates, effectively forbidding strikes, and tell all Egyptians to get back to work after the unrest that toppled Hosni Mubarak.

The army will also say it acknowledges and protects the right of people to protest, the source said.

Protesters argued heatedly in Tahrir Square over whether to stay or comply with army orders to leave. “The people want the square cleared,” one group chanted. “We will not leave, we will not leave,” replied another.

Police officers, emboldened by Mubarak’s downfall, gathered outside the Interior Ministry to demand higher pay. Warning shots were fired in the air. No one was hurt.

Workers from the health and culture ministries staged demonstrations as Egyptians began venting pent-up frustrations.

Thousands of workers have staged strikes, sit-ins and protests over pay and conditions at firms and government agencies in fields such as steel, textiles, telecoms, railways, post offices, banks and oil and pharmaceutical companies.

Egypt declared Monday a bank holiday after workers disrupted operations at the country’s main state banks.

Protest organizers were forming a Council of Trustees to defend the revolution and urge swift reform from a military intent on restoring law and order during the transition.

Mahmoud Nassar, a youth movement leader, said: “The army has moved far along to meet the people’s demands and we urge it to release all political prisoners who were taken before and after January 25 revolution. Only then will we call off the protests.

6 thoughts on “Unions banned

  1. I’m worried about this. They’ve declared marshall law. I know the anti mubarak’s wanted the military to help with the transition, but it seems that they’re more than helping.

  2. Well, the Obama administration wanted Ol’ Sullied Man (Suleiman, intel chief, torturer-on-chief) to rule. And that’s what has happened. Was the game afoot with Mubarek’s placing him in the VP slot? Looking back…. But, of course, Obama et al do not look backward, they only look forward.

    Good luck, Egyptians! And trust but verify anything Obama says. Pay utmost attention to what he actually DOES, not what he says.

  3. @jawbone, but suleiman isn’t in charge, field marshal tantawi is.

    the reason that they are banning unions is because the egyptian military owns a substantial percentage of the businesses in the egyptian economy. i think that has influenced the military’s role more than anything else throughout the crisis. it was in their business interest to not crack down on the egyptian public (i.e. their customers), it was in their interest to make mubarak go away after it became clear that the demonstrations and strikes would not end until he did, and it’s in their interest to have a six month long delay before elections so that they can make sure that a sufficiently pro-military candidate comes out on top.

    and as the owners of so many egyptian businesses, it’s also in their interest to make sure that unions are barred.

  4. Oh, I must be letting up on following the Egyptian changes!

    If Tantawi is in control (I’d thought it was more of the group of current and retired generals), then these cables about Tantaw noted at Greg Mitchell’s WikiLeaks Blog might be of interest.

    (Sorry to make you click through.I was going to just copy and paste the post, but I can’t get those functions to work inside comment boxes over at Corrente. Something to do with IE8 or Windows 7. Frustrating.)

  5. And our corporatist friendly president might not be very eager to tell the junta to honor labor rights…. Cheap Labor, it’s not just for Republicans anymore!

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