As 26 workers are still standing trial on accusations of striking, the army-controlled Alexandria Shipyard Company has reportedly opened its doors once again, allowing only 600 out of 2,400 workers to operate in the factory─a step described by the workers as “discriminatory”.
The incident dates back to May, when a group of 26 workers arranged an open sit-in, hoping that the company’s leaders would act in response to demands that they had previously brought before the company administration but had not received attention.
As the strike escalated, workers were barred from entering their place of work and military units were deployed. The 26 workers were arrested and referred to military court, which will issue a verdict on 18 September.
After several local and international solidarity campaigns, activists and workers described the management’s decision to reopen the doors of the factories as a victory, but also feared that allowing only certain workers in will divide the workers into “good” and “rioters”.
The Alexandria Shipyard Company falls under the supervision and administration of the Ministry of Defence and Military Production as of 2007. Martial law stipulates that if civilians breach the law inside a military zone, they can be referred to military court.