Strikes continue in Egypt despite military threats

Strikes continue in Egypt despite military threats

Despite threats from Egypt's new military government that the wave of strikes which has swept the country will no longer be tolerated, 15,000 workers at Misr Spinning and Weaving in Al-Mahalla al-Kubra are continuing a strike and sit in.

The strike, which began in support of the protests which ousted former president Hosni Mubarak stopped temporarily after he stood down. However, it started again three days later laying out demands for wage increases and the resignation of Fuad Abdel Alim, the company head who is accused of corruption and mismanaging the company, along with three other executives. The factory is the largest in Egypt.

The minimum wage was raised by court order in Egypt last year from 400 LE ($68) to 1200 LE ($204), but never implemented across the country. The implementation of this minimum wage along with an increase in monthly bonuses by up to 300% is a key demand. The workers are also demanding the creation of an independent trade union and the re-instatement of all sacked labour leaders, and the right to counselling and employment opportunities for the children of workers.

Likewise, 6,000 workers at Damietta Spinning and Weaving struck, similarly demanding the resignation of the executive board.