A group of political parties, syndicates, unions, and activists released a statement on Sunday to express their solidarity with the workers of the Alexandria Shipyard Company, who will be sentenced on Tuesday when the Alexandria Military Court hands down its verdict.
The statement, signed by the likes of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party (ESDP), Al-Karama party, the Press Syndicate, and the Revolutionary Socialists Movement among others, condemned the continued prosecution of the workers before a military court and for holding 13 of them in remand in different police stations in Alexandria.
The workers had initially demonstrated against deteriorating pay and inadequate health and safety procedures in the company.
On 24 May, the company’s administration refused to meet the demands of the workers. They imposed a lockout by security forces, and all production and services at the yard were brought to a halt. Twenty-six of the protestors were summoned by military prosecutors the next day.
The workers stand accused of inciting their colleagues to protest against working in the military institution.
The solidarity statement warned that issuing verdicts not by the civilian courts, but rather a military court, against “legal and peaceful protests by workers” adds to a “dark page in the history of oppressing the working class in Egypt”.
As of 2007, the Alexandria Shipyard Company falls under the supervision and administration of the Ministry of Defence and Military Production.