The Center for Socialist Studies - Labor Studies Unit
The labor movement has been on the rise over the past few years, extending to all key industrial sectors, with the industrial actions taking different forms: protests, sit-ins, occupations and strike. Moreover, the latest period has witnessed new players in the arena. New professional sectors such as pharmacists, lawyers and others have staged national strikes.
In short, about a million workers had confronted the impoverishment and layoff policies throughout the last two years. Despite the absence of a labor party and representative unions, the working class vanguard has got beyond the boundaries of narrow localized demands. For example: Ghazl-al Mahalla workers, are calling for LE 1200 as a minimum wage for all workers in Egypt; the Real Estate Tax Collectors announced in December 2008 the first independent trade union in the country's history since 50 years; last but not least, the political strike staged by the Suez-based Fertilizer Company workers protesting exports to the Zionist enemy in February 2009.
The working class is moving forward to occupy an advanced position in the struggle for political and social change amid the failure of the successive neo-liberal governments to provide job opportunities and to meet the workers' and toilers' needs to lead a decent life.
The coincidence of the regime's crisis with the crisis of the global financial system, along with its catastrophic consequences on millions of workers and the escalation of unemployment rate, have forced the advanced industrial capitalist countries to resort to "nationalization" and reinstating the state's role. So, our government officials have finally admitted the gravity of the current crisis and begun practically to lay the crisis's weight on the toilers' shoulders through workers layoff, cutting advantages and incentives along with imposing more tax fees.
There is no doubt that the road of the working class towards victory and regain their plundered rights will not be paved with roses. A matter that requires a concerted effort by all socialists to support the labor movement, particularly the advanced sectors that pursue creating independent trade unions and associations, in an attempt to connect their local leaders and crystallize their programs.
In an attempt to achieve those goals, the Center for Socialist Studies has launched a labor studies unit, which we hope to help with the following:
· Providing all forms of legal and media support to labor struggles
· Holding training sessions for workers
· Preparing a monthly symposium on questions related to the labor movement
· Preparing labor papers on all matters related to the working class
· Establishing a labor history and news database
The labor studies unit intends to be an open home for all workers struggling against neo-liberal polices, and to play the role of coordinating with all quarters and labor committees on all matters related to labor struggles