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Mohammad Abu Alola
Mohammad Abu Alola is one of five dismissed union leaders from Cadbury Mondelez factory in Alexandria, Egypt. Born in 1973, he is married, has 3 children, one of which has a physical disability.

I was working at the factory for 14 years as an operator on the Redington machine. When the union was created I was elected as the union secretary-treasurer. I work with a team of four workers. On July 26 2012, workers held a protest. I was not at the factory at this moment. I left work early, because my son was sick. At about 12:30 I received a phone call from the production manager, engineer Ameer Shahata who told me that workers have organized a protest to demand a pay rise (social allowance), and he asked me to return.

This was a spontaneous protest, it was not organized. The reason behind it was that workers were asking for the 15% increase – an allowance, declared by the President of the country Mohammad Morsi. But our management had posted a notice on the factory bulletin board announcing that the company would not pay the social allowance decreed by the government. This is why the workers went on protest on the same day during the third shift duty at 12:30 am.

I went back to the factory to see what could be done. After talking to other workers I told Ameer Shahata that workers are angry because of the notice, and he asked me to take down that notice.

But workers refused to take down the notice, unless someone representing the management is there in addition to a representative from the labour ministry, so the workers can be assured that this action is the management responsibility. The workers spent the night discussing the matter, but the notice remained on the board.

Next day, on July 27, we spoke to the factory manager engineer Ala'a Darweesh and human resources manager Wala'a Hamoudeh. It was myself, Khamees Jaber, Hussein Ahmed and Ayman Mohammad Bakheet representing workers, who tried to negotiate a solution. We told them the main demand of the workers is the 15% allowance, but management rejected the request.

There was another attempt on Saturday, July 28 to reach a solution satisfactory for all parties, and this was successful thanks to the efforts of the union president, Mohammad Hassan Ahmed. We were promised that the workers will receive the allowance and with this commitment the protest action was ended. But we realized later the promise was a trick, made by the production manager Ameer Shahata.

I was investigated on July 28 and accused of strike incitement. On Monday, July 30 we were asked to stop work for one week followed by another two days. The argument was that as union leaders, we should stop work so not to affect the investigations.

I tried to return to work on 8th of August 2012, but they did not allow me to return. We met with Wala'a Hamoudeh who told us that our case was now referred to the labor court for a dismissal from our work. Since then they have stopped our salaries and so far have not permitted us to return to work.

Cadbury workers take stand against Kraft/Mondelez human rights abuses // 2:23 (or watch it on YouTube)

Interview Hussein Ahmed Hussein - sacked by Kraf/Mondelez // 9:36
(or watch it on YouTube)

Interview Nasr Awad - sacked by Kraft/Mondelez // 7:36
(or watch it on YouTube)
The International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations (IUF)