Egypt: A new wave of workers strikes and sit-ins

Mass protests demanding change have triggered a fresh wave of mass strikes and workers’ sit-ins across the country Wednesday, spotlighting long-ignored economic demands

Ahram Online , Wednesday 9 Feb 2011

Following the “Million Man” demonstrations and mass strikes that escalated across Egypt on Tuesday, a new wave of mass strikes and workers’ sit-ins also spread on Wednesday.

Ahram Online has been receiving continuous reports of strikes breaking out in both public and private companies across the country, many of which are still being confirmed. At the time of publishing, the Center for Trade Union and Workers Services (CTUWS) had confirmed the following:

More than 2000 workers started a strike in Helwan’s silk factories and circulated the office of the company’s chairman demanding his exclusion.

Thousands of workers have started a strike in Helwan’s coke factories demanding higher wages and full-time contracts.

In Mahala’s Spinning and Weaving factory, hundreds started a sit-in in front of the administration building.

In Kafr El-Zaiat hospital, 1500 nurses started a sit-in demanding their late wages.

Four hundred workers in Suez’s Egypt National Steel Factory started an open strike demanding higher wages.

In Menoufeia, more than 750 of Schweppes factory workers started a sit-in demanding higher wages.

More than 800 of the spinning and weaving workers in Menoufeia started a sit-in demanding higher wages.

In Cairo, 200 workers from the General Committee for Drug Supervision started a sit-in demanding full time contracts and higher wages.

Apart from the demands calling for democratic reforms that have triggered Egypt’s mass protests, social and economic needs have been at the core of the country’s political unrest in recent years.

Although a 2010 court ruling demanded that a new minimum wage be set, the government promised to set a minimum of only LE400 per month (about $70), all

Al Ahram also reports

Steel and Canal shipyard workers strike in Suez

In an escalation of industrial action in Suez, workers at the national and Egyptian Steel companies and the Suez Canal Port Authority shipyard were among those staging strikes and sit-ins for being deprived their material rights.

Aly Hussein, a shipyard worker, confirmed that the sit-in was in protest at the management’s insistent refusal to support chronically ill workers, despite their poor health being on account of their work. 1500 workers took part in the sit-in.

In National Steel’s plant, the 500 striking workers accused the head of the management of denying them their rights. “Here we have been under conditions for six years and we won’t be silent,”said Mohammed Sayed, a worker.

Egyptian Steel workers, for their part, staged a sit-in after blocking the road. Workers stated that they receive the lowest wages despite the pollution they endure.


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