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Multinationals, worker rights and the fight for democracy in Egypt and Tunisia

Le 31 mai 2013
09:30

Multinationals, worker rights and the fight for democracy in Egypt and Tunisia

with

Ron Oswald
General Secretary, International Union of Food Workers

Ghaith Nafti
Union leader at SOTUBI biscuits FGAT-UGTT, Tunisia

Zied Naloufi
Union leader at SOTUBI biscuits FGAT-UGTT, Tunisia

Hussein Ahmed
Founding member, Union of Cadbury Alexandria Workers EDLC, Egypt

Nasr Awad
Founding member, Union of Cadbury Alexandria Workers EDLC, Egypt

Worker protest played a decisive role in the mass uprisings which toppled the authoritarian regimes of Tunisia and Egypt – regimes with which Western multinationals were deeply compromised. But the “Arab Spring” has failed to secure the trade union and other democratic rights workers hoped for – and are guaranteed under international labour and human rights standards.

In Egypt and Tunisia, workers and union leaders at companies wholly or partially owned by the US-based Mondelez have been harassed and even dismissed from their jobs for attempting to exercise fundamental trade union rights. The IUF is spearheading an international campaign in their defense. Mondelez is the international snack foods successor to the former Kraft Foods Inc – makers of Oreo cookies, Milka chocolate, Jacobs coffee and the iconic Swiss Toblerone. The campaign is a vital part of the fight for democratic rights in the “post-Spring” North Africa and the Middle East.

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