Egyptian workers on strike

These people are not leaving: The Mahalla Workers in the Egyptian Uprising from philip rizk on Vimeo.

From Al Ahram in Egypt:

Textile workers to go on strike in Egypt’s largest factory

Mostafa Ali, Ahram Online, Monday 5 Sep 2011

Mahallah workers, who played a pivotal role in ending Mubarak‘s 30-year rule, plan to walk off the job on Saturday to voice outstanding grievances

Twenty-two thousand workers at the Egypt Weaving and Textile Company in Mahallah city, the country’s largest public sector textile factory, have announced that they will begin an open-ended strike on 10 September.

On Saturday workers issued a statement that outlines their grievances and demands and asked for public support.

Workers demand that the government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf increase its capital investment in the company and guarantee adequate supplies of raw cotton for production.

They also want the government to raise the minimum wage in order to keep up with rising inflation levels and to release 2-month-old outstanding merit pay checks.

In their statement, Mahallah workers said that they plan to struggle, not only to improve their own lives, but also to win a decent standard of living for all Egyptian workers.

Mohamed El-Attar, a leading Mahallah organiser, told Ahram Online that a delegation from the factory is headed to Cairo today to present workers’demands to the office of the prime minister.

Strikes by Mahallah workers in 2006 and in 2008 against ousted president Mubarak’s regime gained widespread popularity, and are believed by many activists and analysts in Egypt to have partly set the stage for the outbreak of the January 25 Revolution.

In fact, a strike by Mahallah workers on 8 February helped to seal Mubarak’s fate and forced him to step down as president on 11 February.

Mahallah workers have also played a key role for years in labour struggles against the Mubarak-controlled Egyptian federation of trade unions. Last month, under pressure from Egypt’s rising independent trade union movement, Prime Minister Sharaf agreed to dismantle the executive board of the old federation.

A leading Mahallah trade union activist, Wael Habib, currently sits on a special committee appointed by Sharaf’s cabinet to oversee a total overhaul of pro-Mubarak union structures.

See also here.

Egypt: Scruffles Break Out Inside and Outside Mubarak Trial: here.

Sujatha Fernandes: Hip Hop and Global Unrest. Four decades after its birth in the Bronx, rap music has become the soundtrack to the social unrest sweeping the globe from Tunisia to Libya and London: here.

3 thoughts on “Egyptian workers on strike

  1. Pingback: Egyptian pro-democracy fight continues | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Egyptian doctors in partial strike

    Doctors began a partial strike Monday, boycotting non-emergency services in public hospitals to protest run-down facilities and low wages.

    Hospital overcrowding means sick patients are forced to sleep on the floor. Families are forced to bring in their relatives’ basic necessities, such as blood bags and painkillers.

    Doctors working in public hospitals receive a base salary of around only $46 per month, and most have to work another job in private hospitals or clinics to make ends meet.

    Public health receives 4.8 percent of the state budget. But of this, doctors say around 30 percent goes to pay for sewage systems and another 30 percent for Health Ministry administrators’ salaries. The small funds that do trickle down to hospitals are often used to renovate buildings, rather than pay for supplies, equipment or salaries.

    Over 70 percent of the country’s 520 public hospitals took part in the strike. There are 50,000 registered doctors operating in Egypt, according to the latest government figures available in 2006.


  3. Pingback: Egyptian pro-democracy fight continues | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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