Statement of Solidarity with the Egyptian Workers

One thousand workers have been on strike for five months in the Tanta Linen company in Egypt. We have received an appeal for solidarity please take up this case in your trade union or workplace.

The strike of the 1000 workers at the “Tanta” linen company in Egypt has entered its fifth month. This strike which began on May 31, 2009, because of the aggressive measures taken against the workers by the Saudi businessman, "Abdellah Kaaki," such as cutting wages, incentives and bonuses and dumping 39 workers, 9 of which are members of the trade union in the company, refusing the re-employment of any of them, despite a judicial judgment for their reinstatement, taking advantage of the lax state of the government towards businessmen. The Saudi businessman has been procrastinating over the past months to even sit down to negotiate with representatives of the Egyptian Ministry of Labor.

The problems of the workers at the Egyptian “Tanta” Linen company began to worsen since the government sold the company to the Saudi investor “Abdellah Saleh Kaaki" within the privatization program, followed by the implementation of the prescriptions of the World Bank. The company was sold for only US$20 million, in installments over three years,al though the actual value of the company is US$125 million.

The workers of the “Tanta” company have raised a number of demands which represent the minimum of their rights, and are as follows:

  1. The return of all workers that were arbitrarily dismissed.
  2. Increase the meal allowance from US$9 a month, to US$24 according to the text of Egyptian Labor Law No. 12, 2003
  3. Exchange of increment by 7% as of 2008.
  4. The distribution of the monthly incentive pay on the grounds of 2009 instead of 2003.
  5. The distribution of annual profits, which was stopped since selling the company despite the high proportion of interest income.

We in the Progressive Youth Union of Egypt, have an appeal from the “Tanta” linen company workers, that have been on strike for 5 months, for solidarity with them to obtain all their legitimate rights, and ask you for your solidarity by sending messages of solidarity to the officials in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, and the Egyptian and Saudi embassies in your country, in addition to international organizations interested in labor and trade union affairs, to urge them to move to resolve the issue, and we will appreciate sending us copies of your data that you will send them. As we will also depend on your evaluation of the situation if you can carry out any action in front of the Egyptian and Saudi embassies in your countries for the support of the workers of the Tanta Company .

Note: The addresses of the persons and comities that you will send your solidarity to are as follows:

Arab Labor Organization: Fax: 00237484902, E-mail

International Labor Organization Fax: +41.22.799.8533, e-mail

Mohamed Hosni Mubarak, President of Arab Republic of Egypt Fax: +2025757165

D. Ahmed Nazif, Egyptian Prime Minister: Fax: (202) 7958016- 7356449

D. Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General of the National Council for Human Rights - Egypt Fax: 002025747497, E-mail

Mr. Saud Al-Faisal, Saudi Foreign Minister Fax: 0096614030645

D. Ghazi al-Qusaibi, Saudi Minister of Labor Fax:00966 (1) 4789175, e-mail

* Please send a copy of solidarity to our e-mail