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Egypt photojournalist - Mohamed Ali Eddin

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Workers' revolution

Seventy-one kilometers away from Cairo, 300 workers decided to make their own revolution against the owner of a company called Nubaseed. The workers protested against the owner because of “unequal treatment and disrespect” after a manager slapped two workers in the face. At the same time, the Egyptian Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation accused the owner of “manipulation of contracts” and issued a decree to confiscate the company’s land.

The owner asked all his managers to leave their offices and withdraw every pound from the company’s bank accounts, expecting that Nubaseed would collapse within two months. The managers carried out the order and returned to their offices in Cairo. The workers, meanwhile, faced a very hard situation: the bank accounts were empty, the managers were gone and the workers were due to be paid.

The workers began to manage the failing company themselves, using their own knowledge and experience. After just two years, they were the most successful model of self-management in Egypt following the revolution and achieved high profits.

In 2013, however, Prime Minister Hazem al-Beblawy issued an official decree to give the company back to the investor, along with any profits earned by the workers over the two years of self-management. The government also asked the investor to keep all of the staff, but he later fired 20 workers.

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    In 1976 the Egyptian government established NubaSeed Co. to be the leading agricultural company which covers 60 per cent of local…

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    The Egyptian government decided in 1991, to end the relation between NubaSeed and the ministry of agriculture. The company became…

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    In 1990s, Egypt began its economic plan of privatization and sold many public sector companies to the private sector. In 1998 Nuba…

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    Worker carries boxes of orange which ready to be sold. The orange farm is one of the most thriving sectors of the company.

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    After the government decision the company managers left their positions and the investor withdraw all the company money. The inves…

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    Many workers felt unsafe especially when the new investor decided to decrease the number of employees. From 1998 to 2011 the relat…

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    Through two years NubaSeed workers self-managed their company and overcame many hardships. They promoted the deputy managers to be…

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    Mohamed Shenawy, 68, the oldest worker in NubaSeed Co. discusses the situation of the company with Abdul Fadel Kasem, 55, and othe…

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    NubaSeed workers share food and tea during their journey from the company headquarters to Cairo to follow their company case at th…

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    Abdul Ghafar Ramadan, 65, a driver who worked for more than 20 years with NubaSeed said: “The investor refused to let workers use…

  12. The Workers' Revolution

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    Abdul Ghafar was checking the pick up at the company garage before beginning his daily tour from the company to workers’ homes.

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    AbdulHady, 45, guards the company facilities with his primitive gun. He said: “This gun is the only one we have in the company.. i…

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    Khaled Farid, 49, the new manager of the NubaSeed Co. fish farms checks the fish pools. He said: "the investor and all managers le…