Egyptian railworkers fight forced conscription

Submitted by Matthew on 16 April, 2013 - 8:33

Egyptian railway workers have forced the state to back down from a plan to conscript 97 striking railway workers into the army.

The plan was the Egyptian government’s latest attempt to break a drivers’ strike that began on Sunday 7 April. It is the country’s first nationwide railways strike since 1986. Workers are demanding pay increases and more time off.

Train driver Ashraf Momtaz said: “The Morsi administration’s targeting of strikers has proven to be much worse and more oppressive than the actions of the Mubarak regime”.

97 strikers were summoned to a Cairo barracks on Monday 8 April and held for nearly 24 hours. Protests, and a letter-writing campaign from labour lawyers, forced the state to rescind its “public mobilisation order”.

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