A message from a reader:
During one of my recent daily visits to one of the Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) garment factories in Shobra El Kheima known as Misr Taiwan, I was astonished at the close relationship between the factory’s upper management and Amn El Dawla (State Security Police). I saw a person visiting there daily and overheard that he was getting the “daily report.”
When I asked the executive assistant what does “the daily report” mean and who was he? I heard what I didn’t want to hear.
He explained that those daily reports are between Amn El Dawla and the management of the factory on “workers behavior” especially pertaining wages and “behavior of the workers in organizing against the status quo or causing any political or non-political unrest.”
I was told by him that this officer of Amn EL Dawla named Mounir, was seen as a “friend” who visits on a daily basis and even given some clothes at times to keep tight connection with Dakhlia just in case any “problems” arise.
I was curious to know how deep or intrinsic was this relationship between Amn El Dawla and factory owners, so I asked if Amn El Dawla had helped before in diffusing any planned strikes or workers demands in order to keep “the peace.”
He told me that many times some checks were still clearing at the banks, so Amn El Dawla would intervene to speed up the process for them in order for the workers to get paid on time in fear of a strike.
Also another example was when the management itself would use Amn EL Dawla as their “arm or stick” to just scare the worker if the worker is “misbehaving” or causing “trouble” whether politically or attempting to shake-up the status quo.
There are usually gifts given to high officers in hopes of gaining a powerful ally and greeting cards during holiday given to company owners in return. The relationship seemed to be based on mutual interests; factory exploits the workers, and Amn EL Dawla makes sure that the workers are repressed while being exploited, which sadly only benefits them both on behalf of the workers.
On the same day that this took place, one of the factory’s share holders received a call from Al Amn EL Qawmi (National Security Agency, or Mukhabrrat) asking if there was any “unrest, or changes in workers’ behavior regarding the recent events that took place after the Tunisian uprising,” and the owner was laughing and saying that “all is well here, we have it all under control, workers are fine, paid on time, business as usual, but if there are any problems, we will contact you.”
I was in the room when this happened, so as soon as he hung up, and I knew what was the call all about. I asked, “Does this happen regularly?” The shareholder replied “it is rarely when Al Amn El Qawmi that calls, usually it is just Mounir here or calls from Amn El Dawla, this is unusual.”
I was thinking of course, they are scared shitless of any workers up-rise because they know the end is near, and it will be where power lays, with the masses, the workers!