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Education unions prepare for life after Mubarak

Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down as the President of Egypt. In an announcement on state TV, Vice-President Omar Suleiman said Mr Mubarak has handed power to the military.

It came as thousands massed in Cairo and other Egyptian cities for an 18th day of protest to demand Mr Mubarak's resignation. Protesters responded by cheering, waving flags, embracing and sounding car horns. "The people have brought down the regime," they chanted. Mr Suleiman said Mr Mubarak had handed power to the high command of the armed forces. As the political situation unfolds in Egypt, EI expresses its support to the independent trade union movement in their demands for democracy, social justice and trade union rights. EI has been in daily contact with representatives of the independent union under the umbrella of the Egyptian Federation of Independent Unions. This group was formed on 30 January 2011 by the Teachers’ Independent Union, the Retired Workers’ Union, the Health Professionals’ Union and the Tax Collectors’ Union. During the pro-democracy actions that led to President Mubarak’s departure, Egyptian public sector institutions, such as education and the postal services, had come to near standstill in protest against his regime. On Tuesday 8 February, the day of global solidarity with Egypt, EI joined the ITUC’s international trade union delegation to the Egyptian Embassy in Brussels. ITUC General Secretary, Sharan Burrow, was joined by EI Deputy General Secretary, Jan Eastman, and representatives of the three Belgian trade union centres. EI will continue to support the independent union movement in their effort to be effective players in the transformation of Egypt, and intends to lead an EI delegation to Cairo in the week ahead to identify the support and solidarity its member organisations can bring to teachers across the country.

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