Happy 1st Post-Mubarak Labour Day!
Although the 2011 Egyptian revolution seemed to rise out of nowhere, Egyptian workers have been facing the wrath of the Mubarak regime for years due to protesting against bad working conditions and low wages, among other things. In fact, the April 6th Youth Movement – one of the many key political forces who called for people to take to the streets on January 25th 2011 – was established in response to (and also named after) the 2008 April 26th workers’ strike in Mahalla, one of Egypt’s main industrial cities. According to Global Voices Online, there were at least 20 workers’ strikes in the first three months of 2009 alone. This article outlines the history of Egypt’s labour movement. Al-Jazeera English prepared a short report on the views and sentiments of the Mahalla workers on their first post-Mubarak labour day. Below is an interview by DemocracyNow with Mona El-Ghobashy about the role labour movements played in paving the way for the revolution.