Archive for February, 2011

Streiken gegen den Pharao

Sunday, February 20th, 2011
This article appeared in both the print and online editions of Jungle World.
Nicht nur über Facebook wurden die Proteste in Ägypten organisiert. Die sozialen Netzwerke der Lohnabhängigen waren entscheidend
für den Sturz Mubaraks.

Egypt: What trade unions must do now

Friday, February 18th, 2011
This article appeared in Solidarity.
What happened in Egypt over the last few weeks has a clear historic parallel in the events of August 1980 in Poland.
In both cases, weakened authoritarian regimes crumbled as popular unrest spread.  In Poland and Egypt, state-controlled labour fronts proved unable to control the masses; new, independent unions were formed in struggle.  In both countries, religion provided a means of expressing dissent – and both the reactionary Roman Catholic church and the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood posed threats to the prospects of genuinely progressive change.
And in both countries, small groups of workers and intellectuals struggled over many years (KOR in Poland, the CTUWS in Egypt) building the basis for the independent unions that eventually emerged.
The lessons we learned in 1980 apply today, and the battle is already on to determine what happens next for the Egyptian working class – and for the region as a whole. (more…)

Trade unions: the revolutionary social network at play in Egypt and Tunisia

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

This article, co-authored with Benjamin Weinthal, appeared in The Guardian online edition.

Perhaps the most overlooked factor in the demise of the authoritarian Ben Ali regime in Tunisia, and the weakening of Hosni Mubarak’s grip on state power in Egypt, has been the trade unions in both countries.


Trade unionists on the net

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

This article appeared in both the print and online editions of Solidarity.

LabourStart has just completed the first ever large-scale, global survey of trade union use of the net.
More than 1,300 union members participated in the survey, nearly all of them from English speaking countries (the survey was in English). Much of what we learned will surprise no one. But some of the results were important and in some cases unexpected. Here is some of what we learned…