Strikes continue in Egypt despite authorities” warning

Published: 17/02/2011 05:00



Despite calls from
Egypt’s ruling supreme council of the armed forces to end strikes and
demonstrations that are damaging the efforts for economic recovery, strikes
continued Wednesday in some parts of the country, local media reported.

In the industrial city of
Mahalla el-Koubra in the Nile Delta, around 20,000 workers of a textile company
stormed into the streets to protest against low pay and call for investigations
into corruption.

Another protest by workers
of the Abu Hamada mining factory to express their anger over low wages,
increased working hours and poor treatment brought Cairo-Alexandria highway to a
standstill, reported Ahram Online.

The strikes, many of which
hit state-run agencies and industries, spread as Egypt is struggling against the
impacts of the political upheaval that toppled the 30-year rule of Hosni Mubarak,
and are posing a bigger challenge to the country’s economy.

In Cairo, dozens of
archaeologists protested in front of the Ministry of Antiquities in Zamalek
district and the cabinet building in downtown as they sought full time

Administrators in Teachers
Syndicate and Ministry of Health also called for equality, salary hike and full
time employment.

About 2,000 employees of
the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration protested against corruption within a
group of investors who were appointed by the minister Aisha Abdel Hadi, reported
Al Masry Al Youm newspaper.

Central Audition
Organization employees staged a sit-in, demanding the organization be given
total independence from the government.

Meanwhile, the banks
remained closed across Egypt Wednesday with no clear date of when they will
reopen, amid fears over increasing protests in the banking system.

The caretaker Minister of
Higher Education Hani Helal also announced Wednesday that some schools and
universities will remain closed for another week.

The supreme council of the
armed forces warned Tuesday that further spread of strikes and continued social
instability in the country will be “catastrophic”, calling for an end to all

“The council understands
very well the economic and social grievances of the society, but the people have
to realize that strikes, sit-ins, work and production stoppages and damaging
factories will not get their problems solved,” the state news agency MENA quoted
military sources as saying.


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