By the end of last eighties, a number of workers’ leaders from Helwan and Shubra, as well as some figures from the left currents, engaged in a debate about the means to liberate workers’ trade unions from the hegemony of the ruling power and break the monopoly of trade union life practiced by a single organization alienated to this power; the dialogue conclusion was the imperativeness of creating an independent body wide enough to include all leaders and activists in the workers’ movement.
Since its inception on March 26 1990, the main principle guiding CTUWS and the objectives of its establishment remained the same over 32 years, leading the Center to get involved in many battles and face all sorts of obstacles and challenges in order to gain the right of workers to freely establishing their independent trade unions.
During 32 years, CTUWS opened its doors to workers enabling them to organize meetings, develop their demands and discuss their dissensions; besides, our Center defended workers’ cause, claiming for their rights, supporting their actions and disseminating awareness in their ranks; this was inspired by the history and fight of workers’ movement and consolidated by our organization’ close relationship with workers; therefore, we continued to be involved in all their battles and obtained the solidarity of the international workers’ movement, representing thus the real voice of Egyptian workers in international forums.
Over these years, CTUWS took always the side of our Nation’s concernsand repeatedly confirmed the value of citizenship rights, equality and non-discrimination.
Our outreach was also expanded and CTUWS was increasingly present among workers; few years after the initial inauguration in Helwan, we moved towards Mehalla El Kobra, Shubra El Kheima, Naga’ Hammadi and Alexandria; with the withdraw of the public sector and the growth of the private one, we made our way towards the new industrial zones in the Tenth of Ramadan and Sadat Cities; with the 25th of January revolution, CTUWS initiated a new location in 88 Kasr El Aini street (Cairo downtown) that became the address of independent trade unionsand a target place for all those willing to establish trade unions governed by the only authority and will of workers.
CTUWS considerably developed as well its methodology of work and tools related to trainings, documentation and research serving to improve its performance in conducting advocacy and solidarity campaigns.
During 32 years CTUWS had to fight hard for survival and achievement of its mission, never presenting concessions but rather constantly sticking to its principles, calling for workers’ rights and offering them all its solidarity.
We address here our salutation to all those who contributed in building CTUWS with their efforts and thoughts; we salute those who embraced the cause of the working class, spending their life for this battle and supported CTUWS since its first steps until it became a home for all Egyptian workers; peace to our martyrs who drew with their blood the glory of our history.