Sunday, March 25, 2007

Egyptian Textile Workers Confront the New Economic Order: Middle East Report Online

A new MERO. I quote from the announcement:

The Egyptian regime is cracking down on all manner of dissenters -- from
Muslim Brothers in Parliament to the well-known Kifaya movement to bloggers and journalists. But another form of opposition has been scoring victories: a wave of wildcat strikes that, like the Kifaya protests, began in late 2004. The collective action of Egyptian workers is currently the most broad-based kind of resistance to the regime. It represents a possible threat to the "stability" President Husni Mubarak needs to pass his office on to his son, as most Egyptians are convinced he seeks to do.

Joel Beinin and Hossam el-Hamalawy tell the story of the most militant and politically important strike to date in "Egyptian Textile Workers Confront the New Economic Order," now available in Middle East Report Online.

Here's an excerpt I particularly liked:
Then, on December 7, thousands of workers from the morning shift started assembling in Mahalla’s Tal‘at Harb Square, facing the entrance to the mill. The pace of factory work was already slowing, but production ground to a halt when around 3,000 female garment workers left their stations, and marched over to the spinning and weaving sections, where their male colleagues had not yet stopped their machines. The female workers stormed in chanting: “Where are the men? Here are the women!” Ashamed, the men joined the strike.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This isn't the first time women have taken the forefront and "shamed" the men into following. So much for being oppressed.