Flaxing muscles

I went to a sit-in today in downtown Cairo by workers from the Tanta Flax and Oils Company. About 350 men have been sleeping on the pavement there since Monday, in the cold, because they’d like to be able to feed their families, and sometimes wages don’t come without a fight. It’s the usual story: public sector company is privatized and sold off. Investor buys it (at a huge discount) and then proceeds to slowly and systematically dismantle it with a view to selling the land on which the factory stands and making a tidy profit.
The only problem is that new investors are contractually under an obligation to “protect” the workers who come as part of the package, which means that they can’t just sack them, shut up shop and walk happily into the sunset, pockets bulging. One common strategy is to force workers out on early retirement, another to make life as intolerable as possible (especially for those active in defending workers’ rights) in the hope that they will quit of their own accord. The results are invariably a reduced, and demoralized workforce.
While Egypt’s steady privatization has made it a star pupil with the World Bank, these policies are far from popular amongst the people they most directly affect, as it well known. I spoke to one worker today who told me that he had the option of joining a private firm but opted for Tanta (when it was still government-owned) “because the state protects me in a way private companies won’t”. Tanta workers are not the first formerly public sector workers I have spoken to who reject the idea that the government doesn’t owe them anything after the integration of their company into the private sector. In fact, several such workers I spoke to continued to refer to themselves as public sector employees.
I’m poorly equipped to discuss with authority the economic merits or otherwise of Egypt’s privatization process, but its effects as I have witnessed them have largely been extremely negative. And certainly the trickle-down benefits lauded by the architects of this process has yet to be felt amongst the majority of Egyptians. But I really understood as I spoke to workers today that the privatization process is an affront to some workers not merely because it (usually) impoverishes them and threatens their working futures. On an ideological level, men in their 40s, 50s and 60s are bearing witness to the tearing down of the last remaining vestiges of a legacy which has informed their whole lives; the idea that the state will protect them. Privatisation of these men’s factories is a multi-pronged attack. On their security, their livelihoods, sometimes their pride and always the belief system which has underpinned their whole existence.
Times and economies change and that’s life, some argue. There are always victims on the road to progress. Alas these victims are often steamrollered multiples times by this progress. Tanta workers have been battling for almost a year for basic entitlements. What they want now is either for their factory to work properly (raw supplies aren’t being renewed and machinery is being removed, they say preventing them from working) or for them to be made redundant with the severance pay they are legally entitled to. The company is doing neither.
It has offered them half of the sum workers believe they are entitled to as redundancy pay. Workers have recently been informed that they won’t be being paid January’s salaries because they haven’t been working (they were on strike). Yesterday, as workers were thinking about putting up a tent to shelter them from the cold security officers stormed their gathering attacking four workers in an attempt to get to activists from the Tadamon [Solidarity] group who have been supporting the workers. You can see a video of the arrest of the activists here. They were subsequently released shortly afterwards.
I went back the same evening and workers told me that they’re not intimidated. But they also said that this is because this protest is their resort: there’s nothing else they can do after this, and how can they go back to their families and the factory and Tanta having failed?
I had left the sit-in shortly before the attack happened, and encountered another of Egypt’s odd moments of irony. As I walked away, wondering whether Egypt’s government is in professional training for the Screwing Over Your Own People Olympics or just doing it for fun, I walked onto Qasr El-Eini and found it empty. Big men in suits and shades carrying machine guns in 4x4s were parked on the side of the road, waiting to escort out parliamentarians. Behind them a sea of cars, ordinary Egyptians, were being held up. Without wishing to labour the image – you get the idea – walking along, the workers’ chants still audible behind me, it felt like yet another huge Up Yours from the men in charge.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Flaxing muscles

  1. scribbled says:

    Another clear glimpse through the eye of the Egypt's storm.

  2. Flaxing muscles | Inanities
    hrmgdwmsmv http://www.g9u66x1f00b1h452bjoiup207c3b7v9ls.org/

  3. Shop for NBA jerseys at the official NBA Store! We carry the widest variety of nba jerseys shop, and youth sizes. Keep checking back for the arrivals of the NBA Nike Jersey!
    official nba jerseys

  4. Denice Renne says:

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this blog. I am hoping the same high-grade blog post from you in the upcoming as well. In fact your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own blog now. Really the blogging is spreading its wings quickly. Your write up is a good example of it.

  5. An attention-grabbing dialogue is value comment. I think that it is best to write extra on this matter, it won’t be a taboo topic but generally individuals are.

  6. グレート ブログあなたがここに持っているが、私はしたあなたは、任意のコミュニティフォーラムここで|この記事では、議論|同じトピックをカバーするフォーラムでは} {について話しましたか?私は思います本当に大好き他得ることができますの一部であると経験豊富 個人。あなたが任意の持っている場合は勧告、私に知らせてください。 !
    Made in Tokyo-若い日本の職人が丁寧に作る本革トートバッグ かっこいい 大容量 A4 大きめ かっこいい ベッラ レザー あす楽 女性 おしゃれ レディース 人気 上品 ビジネスバッグ 鞄 軽量 無地 シンプル 皮 財布 女性 可愛い A4 丈夫 東京の若手職人が針針丁寧に作る本革トートバッグ 日本製 おすすめ 通販 おしゃれ レザー シンプル 通勤 通勤 レディース 無地 人気 大容量 大きめ 大人かわいい-uwmode.nl

  7. To be able to reduce the expense of your event, you should invite much more event management contractors for this job. Boxing shorts are made up of snug cloth that will not stay with the skin once they get damp within the boxer’s sweat. To make the event wonderful, you can hire specialist dancers. Truly, this kind of is its popularity that numerous wellknown knowhow organizations have now created it compulsory for his or her employees to just take this examination and qualify for career development within the long term. In the event the net was young, men and women ended up excited to receive email.
    Cheap Jerseys From China

  8. Stanton, who agreed to a $6. Just thought I’d get that out there.The next sin is without a doubt using harsh acid products. Truly, this kind of is its popularity that numerous wellknown knowhow organizations have now created it compulsory for his or her employees to just take this examination and qualify for career development within the long term.Boxing is often an activity that requires comprehensive bodily schooling.
    Wholesale Jerseys

  9. Audemars Piguet Duplicate – The Cheapest among Watches
    Cartier replica watches

  10. This will guide visitors to your blog without you undertaking a lot of extra work. You never know where clients might be hiding, from the grocery store clerk to your babysitter. More than merely learning a few methods on keeping your car looking great, it’ll be necessary for you to be aware of some of the bad methods to steer clear of.Ensure you are looking for opportunities for leadership. » StrongPedia Article Directory Free article directory.
    Cheap Jerseys From China

  11. Well, if you’ve been on receipt of such abuse, this guide May be just for you. Boxing matches amongst adult males focus on strength and stamina. If one percent of your web traffic clicks on an affiliate link, you need a lot of traffic to make money so more traffic equals more money.The perfect answer to oilbased tire shine is to find a good nonsilicone tire gloss. Technically, you need a red and black rubber on each side of the bat.
    Cheap Jerseys From China

  12. Walton hailed super subs: he is this lakers team manu ginobili
    Kevin Durant shoes

  13. This is affecting involve your necklaces, so as to suggestions it at any place probability-free.
    Replica watches

  14. Tend not to eliminate articles, as being the end user will probably cease after the webpage.Another wellknown auto detailing transgression will be to not clean up the pores on the vehicle. It may help you improve manufacturer reputation. The actual dancing club will help to entertain your guests in a better way.Boston had designated the 32yearold for assignment on July 30th.
    Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping

  15. Hummel: teams have pressure, want to beat PSV eindhoven
    salomon shoes

  16. Decide on affiliates along with your purpose and goal viewers in head. For technicians like me operating inside the sphere of laptop computer help actions, the CompTIA A+ certification is of initial really worth, because it also makes it possible for us to talk extremely obviously with our customers, and also to supply expert client solutions.Boston had designated the 32yearold for assignment on July 30th. In the event the net was young, men and women ended up excited to receive email. Next, the acid detergents will quickly start to harm the remaining portion of the car’s paint and rubber.
    Wholesale Jerseys From China

  17. It can be significant to recollect that this is not the exact same point as women’s specialized boxing, which is the kind we refer to when talking with regards to the Olympics along with other identified competitions. He took advantage of two very different rubbers that can be placed on each side of your bats, which have very few casual players understand. The Dance Floor Hire Wales services are also healthy.Tips For Receiving The Best From Facebook or myspace Marketing and advertisingTips For Receiving The Best From Facebook or myspace Marketing and advertisingMay 8, 2013 | Author: Daniel Will | Posted in BusinessYou will find not many instruments that are as good at marketing strategy as Facebook or twitter. Getting this a+ certification implies, which the lucrative applicant has labored extensively using the Running Technique regarding Windows.
    Cheap Jerseys Wholesale

  18. Tokyo “discussion” to the Olympic stadium Bach on the table
    kd shoes

  19. Take an examination of hyacinth 22 + 6 king destroy wizards, 15 points and 76 negative piston
    lebron shoes

  20. Nevertheless it comes with an abvious shadow of the aged watch, this new Omega view continues to be upgraded and enhanced in every details.
    rolex replica swiss made

  21. 2、 进一步提高岛津品牌的市场占有率为攻破核心零部件关键技术难题,近日,C(抗坏血酸)含量毛细管电泳法测定标准》(GOST 31483-2012),投资 中国制造企业正在不断将资源有针对性地投放到重点业务领域中。“只是从缅甸进口红木原材料, 三、反击式破碎机易损件主要有反击衬板。壓隆栖3崛5定坪?促进经验交流与扩散实际上与杏仁攀不上任何关系。顺利完成输电线路架设任务。

  22. This bundle will set you back $200, but it’s a great deal for what’s included. Today, yoga for beginners in Loveland Co is gaining popularity. The reference regarding Alkame Holdings has been an promoted mention for this particular short article. You need to continue to work hard and stay motivated so that your business can grow and become even more successful. For those who have some used products and items like table decorations, vases, candle lights and flowers can also reduce your investment.
    Cheap Jerseys From China

  23. Hi there everyone, it’s my first pay a quick visit at this site, and post is really fruitful for me, keep up posting such content.|
    adidas ultra boost outlet

  24. There is visibly a bunch to realize about this. I assume you made certain nice points in features also.
    replique ballon bleu de cartier or rose

  25. Once again, there are so many good soaps in the auto detailing sector as of late that it’s not going to be complicated to locate what you need. Don’t concentration making an investment a lot of into marketing promotions or marketing and advertising goods till you have all around 5,000 followers. You could continue to be motivated utilizing a strategy that actually works best in your case!It really is doable for a vendor to start out a fraud as a result of their monitoring method.They could even be participating in group activities.Though, the most interesting features about Rock Band: Unplugged is that it’ll feature an ingame store.
    Cheap Jerseys China

  26. By holding the communications open up and recurrent, the possibilities of higher earnings are significantly greater. Next, the acid detergents will quickly start to harm the remaining portion of the car’s paint and rubber. The consensus among gamers is that using the DPad and Face Buttons to play notes is a much cheaper, and far more practical option than attaching little instruments on to your PSP. Then just use the thin coating of car detailing wax on the same panel and then work your way to the details.Other necessary products involves bags and kits to carry all this tools about.
    Cheap Nike NFL Jerseys

  27. Having a watch to acquire my CompTIA A+ certification, I needed to move two organization related a+ exams. How you tackle them is a completely different story though. This may make boxing amongst the most costly sports activities across the world. The particular professional decorator will offer you details about the areas need more investment.You’ll want to clean the windows with a proper car detailing window solution as well as a highquality window towel.
    Cheap Jerseys China

  28. http://duque.mx/rebel/geeua/3/10768/pkdzadntva/yyxa/hnxnna/uxglamywa/tyta.dock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>