Workers of the National Company for Vegetable Oils (one of the American Cargill’s companies) after four months of their sit-in are exposed to snapping dogs, paraplegia, halter or starvation. The company administration has besieged
the workers with mercenaries, thugs and furious dogs for the fourth month. They also have cut electricity and water and prevented the peaceful sitters from medicine and foods; in a siege that may end their lives either from hunger, thirst, illness or by fangs of rabid dogs, which one of them has snapped an arm of one of the guards who was about to be killed unless one of his mates interfered and killed the dog and took the bitten guard to hospital.
This is the state of the 84 workers, who began a peaceful sit-in four months ago inside the company headquarter in the industrial city of Borg El Arab, of the National Company for Vegetable Oils which is a joint-stock company owned by the American corporation Cargill. The local administration of the company; namely the general manager Tarek Shaalan, who was appointed last August, still commits irregularities and violates law. More than 28 regularities have been registered against the company by the Directorate of Manpower and Immigration, all concerning not allowing the ministry inspectors to access to documents as well as irregularities in the procedures taken against workers. Since the appointment of Shaalan as a general manager, he keeps defaming the political transitional period. In his first meeting with the workers representatives, he said to them that there is no place for trade union freedom after June 30th, the union of the company workers will be dissolved and that the upcoming period has different rules in treatment between the new management and the workers whose service periods range between 10 to 15 years. And this is what actually happened; the periodic meetings with the union representatives were abolished, then the collective agreements that were made between the previous management and the union were suspended. Afterwards, arbitrary measures against workers, registered in reports against them for the Directorate of Manpower, began. In November 2012, the escalation developed and the union called for an emergent meeting of the general assembly of its members. The decision was unanimous that there is no solution to that escalation except by peaceful sit-in without disrupting production or impacting the workflow; just to draw the attention of the company’s management abroad to the wasted rights of the workers and the abusive treatment of the local management against them.
The sit-in began on December 15th 2013, not in the times of work, without any disruption of work and in the same operating and production rate. Workers were surprised when the company management issued an administrative decree with an unpaid compulsory holiday for a week for all workers, claiming it is because of lack of material needed for production. The workers abode to the decree but they continued in their peaceful sit-in, while the company renewed the holiday a week after another till today. On December 23rd 2013, groups of paid thugs holding some wild dogs attacked the sitters at night. The panic was so horrible that one of production workers, his name is Sherif Roshday and he is 26, fell and had a paraplegia from which he is still treated until now and the medical reports confirmed that the reason was an acute neurological trauma.
Then, the company moved to violate the highest Egyptian legislation. After the adoption of the Egyptian constitution on January 17th 2014, which forbids the arbitrary dismissal of workers, the company issued an administrative decree of dismissing 25 workers. On January 23rd 2014, along with the preparations of celebrating the memory of January 25th Revolution, another decree of dismissing other 16 workers was issued. On January 30th 2014, another 9 workers were dismissed then another 25 on February 6th 2014. The total of dismissed workers is 75 till now, thus the workers lost any feeling of happiness with their new constitution. Moreover, the company management refused and ignored all efforts of the Ministry of Manpower to solve the problem by law; declining its invitation for a meeting with workers and allowing them to go back to do their work.
Four months have passed and the workers are still sitting-in besieged by thugs and furious dogs to frighten and terrorize them. All that happened in complete inattention of the government. So, the company management developed its escalation. On February 4th 2014, they cut electricity and water, prevented the access of food, water and medicine. They also replaced the security company with another one that has more furious dogs! The workers called the police and a report of the incident was registered. On February 6th 2014 the company decided to remove the caravans used by elder workers to sleep and protect them from the severe coldness. Hence, workers made gallows around their necks and tied them to prevent that removal of the caravans which are of great importance for the ill ones after 50 days of coldness and fright. As a result, the crane worker refused to lift the caravan despite getting a direct order from the general manager, with his physic presence, to lift it whatever happens! All these violations of laws came within the course of desperate attempts by the company management for looting the rights of the workers frightening and besieging them to force them to abandon their legal rights regardless the lives that are endangered, the families that are displaced and the children that are starved; especially after the company management decision of suspending their wages and medical treatment even those who suffer from health problems resulted from the nature of work.
The workers of the National Company for Vegetable Oils are appealing all workers unions, political parties and movements in Egypt and abroad, all Egyptian, Arab and international human rights organizations as well as all Egyptian, Arab and international trade union organizations to do pressure on the central management of the company in Geneva to support the wasted rights of workers and to end injustice felt by their families whom they have abandoned for 4 months.
The Movement of Workers Struggle – Egypt
, The Association of Textile Workers in Kafr El Dawwar Company and Sabbaghi El Bida,
workers leaders in the Company of Rayon and Polyester,
the Association of Koom Hamada Textile Workers Union, the Free
Union of Ghazl El Mahalla Workers.
(International Federation of Trade Unions, the food industry (Switzerland
(Workers and peasants party,( Egypt
Revolutionary left Egypt
روابط توثق معاناة العمال وحصارهم وترهيبهبم من قبل الادارة..
رابط حملة التوقيعات والتضامن..
قائمة الموقعون والمتضامنون مفتوحة لكل من يرغب .
الرجاء مراسلتنا على ..