Workers assaulted by army, claims party leader

The Strong Egypt Party, which is headed by former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh, has expressed solidarity with the workers of Suez Steel, who were allegedly attacked by soldiers of the Third Field Army trying to break up their sit-in.

The party issued a statement on Tuesday saying that it is not surprised by such practices as long as the government is under the tutelage of the military.

The statement also said that since the revolution, the three regimes that were under the tutelage of the military have repressed workers and only safeguarded the interests of businessmen.

It is as if history is repeating itself, the statement added. We saw under the Muslim Brotherhood and Mohamed Morsy the security forces attacking the protesting workers of Portland Cement with dogs, the statement added. Today, the Suez Steel workers, who have been on strike for more than 20 days to demand the return of their arbitrarily dismissed colleagues, are being attacked by the army, who arrested two people and injured two others.

The party also lashed out at the media, saying that it is framing a deceptive image to justify state repression, portraying the workers as bandits blocking the road, while forgetting that the main gate of their plant is on that road, and ignoring the fact that those workers have exhausted all peaceful means of negotiation.

The statement went on to say that, despite the fact that the minister of manpower is a former worker, the government remains under the guardianship of the military, practicing the same policies that the workers have always been against.

The party reiterated the need to amend the Labor Code, activate the law on trade union freedoms, reinstate dismissed workers, grant tenures to temporary workers, pay late dues to workers, stop police suppression of legitimate protests, and prevent the armed forces from engaging in economic and political life.

The police and the army intervened to disperse the Suez Steel sit-in after factory owner Rafiq al-Daw, a Lebanese man, charged the workers with incitement against the management.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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