In a few days’ time, the Egyptian state will celebrate Labor Day. Some wonder about the form of the celebration and the words that speakers, led by Mr. President, will deliver on that day. As a matter of fact that these questions intrigue me and I see them even provocative, because the form of the celebration is known form in advance and the words, in context, will not be any different from their predecessors in the past years. Let's imagine together what will take place.
When the event will take place?
It certainly will not be held on Labor Day on May first. Since the days of ousted President Hosni Mubarak the first of May always comes in our country, differently than all countries of the world, according to the agenda of the President.
In addition to the staff of the Ministry of Manpower, the honorees that day as well as the Ministry will pay tribute to a number of unionists. The basic condition in selecting those to be honored is that not one of them was ever caught defending workers' rights.
As for the audience, as usual, the ceremony will be attended by dozens of members of management committees who have been appointed by the government. They will be selected by security agencies and the Union’s management committee will complete the task in terms of transferring them to the place of celebration, paying them allowances and telling them the slogans and poems they would chant in glorification of the achievements of the President and attack on his opponents.
The words to be delivered by both the Minister of Manpower and Chairman of the Management Committee will not be any different from last year’s and the one before: The same words from the day of Mubarak through the military council and Mohamed Morsi.
And certainly the Minister of Manpower will not bait an eyelash while paying tribute to the crucial role of the president overthrowing the Muslim Brotherhood, forgetting that during the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood he had published a paid advertisement congratulating the Armed Forces on the occasion of the victory of the October War and congratulated the then President Mohamed Morsi as a hero of the October war. Gebali will not be ashamed to attack the Muslim Brotherhood brutally and declare his support for the president in his holy war against terrorism despite the fact he was appointed to the Shura Council by a decree from Mohamed Morsi whom he calls now a traitor.
The words of the President will not be far from the importance of being united for development, construction and completion of the democratic process.
Of course, while delivering those speeches, especially the speech of Mr. President, applause in the hall and chants that were chanted during the rule of Mubarak and Mohamed Morsi will not stop.
As for the workers’ problems and their pains, we will hear not demands to halt soaring prices; we will not hear about the pains of pensioners and the fate of insurance funds; we will not hear demands for the return of laid-off workers and reopening of closed factories. We will not hear any criticism to the policies of the government biased to business owners or demanding a change in the government's approach to load the budget deficit on low-income people. And of course no one attending or sitting on the podium would dare wonder - just wonder – about the Renaissance dam, the issue of the islands of Tiran and Sanafir and state policies to expand in borrowing.
No one will pose the question that must be posed. Why are revenues of the Suez Canal declining despite the promise of President they would increase after the new channel was completed by money of Egyptians; especially as the Union paid more than a million pounds of compulsory contributions to this project.
But certainly we will not hear the voice of anyone talking about police abuses of citizens, the absence of law and ditching the Constitution as these matters are not uttered by the honorable people appointed in the boards of directors or administrative committee of the Union of Worker. Those issues are only raised by the advocates of sedition and a few shabby holders of foreign agendas!
General Coordinator of the Center for Union and Workers' Services