AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka is backing the Egyptian revolution.
Egyptian workers…have broken away to form their own independent unions and federation and join the popular protests against President Hosni Mubarak’s dictatorial rule.
In a Jan. 30 declaration the new Egyptian Federation of Independent Unions said its demands include the right to organize and the right to work at a decent minimum wage, rather than be unemployed.
Like the other protesters, the new federation also demands Mubarak quit. The federation then called a general strike to back its demands.
The new federation, unveiled at a press conference in the jammed central Tahrir Square in Cairo, includes the Real Estate Tax Authority (RETA) workers, the Retired Workers Union, the Health Professionals Union, the Teachers Independent Union and several other independent unions.
The workers’ movement drew support from both AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and the International Trades Union Congress. Trumka said the new confederation’s role in the protests “inspires us and will not be forgotten…”
Trumka wrote to RETA President Kamal Abu Eita and to Kamal Abbas, director of the Independent Egyptian labor group, the Center for Trade Union Worker Services, that their “organizations symbolize the strrength and courage of Egyptian workers and their families who have been standing up to repression for many years.”
“We salute you in this brave endeavor” of forming the new labor federation “and join the international labor movement in standing with you,” Trumka added. “The peoples’ movement for democracy in Egypt and the role unions are playing for freedom and worker rights inspires us and will not be forgotten,” he concluded.
Who will Trumka blame when American workers pay double to fill their gas tanks?