In the early hours of 17 February, Central Security Forces stormed workers conducting a sit-in at the Portland Cement Factory in Alexandria, injuring dozens of workers. 18 of the striking workers remain in detention.
The workers were performing dawn prayers when the raid was launched. The workers were severely beaten by the security personnel and attacked by dogs leaving dozens injured and 4 in intensive care. Workers were jumping from the third and fourth floor of the building to escape the dog attacks.
450 workers began the strike action on 14 February demanding the company honour the promises it made in January to provide permanent job contracts and improved pay and bonuses. The workers had already stopped work in one department and were threatening to stop feeding ovens from 17 February.
Almost 100 workers were arrested, 18 remain in detention, including 2 who sustained serious injuries during the attack according to trade union sources. The workers are facing charges of hindering foreign investment and detention of hostages (management) at the factory.
IndustriALL has written to the President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, calling on him to intervene and ensure the immediate release of all detained workers.
“IndustriALL Global Union condemns and deplores the blatant disregard of the human rights and trade unions rights of workers, who were peacefully raising their legitimate demands for decent working and living conditions,” writes Raina.