Thousands of Mahalla textile workers go on strike

Some 23,000 workers employeed by the state-run Mahalla Textile Company declared a strike on Sunday morning, demanding to receive a share in the company’s profits as well as the removal of company chairman Fouad Abdel Alim Hasaan.

The workers went on strike at the end of the morning shift. They began a sit-in in front of the company’s administrative building, banging on barrels and chanting, “We want our rights,” and “Fouad get out, Egypt’s company will remain free.”

In addition to the ouster of the chairman and the payment of shares in the company’s profits over the past 12 months, the workers demand a minimum wage of LE1,500 per month.

"The Ganzouri cabinet had appointed Fouad Abdel Alim Hassan as chairman of the holding company after his predecessor Mohsin Geelany was removed in response to our strike against him, and he was then charged with corruption in cases that occurred before the revolution, as well as for supporting the ousted President Hosni Mubarak,” said worker Faisal Lakusha.

Mahalla, a center for Egypt’s labor movements and a major textile production hub, had been a cradle of protests against Mubarak prior to the 25 January revolution.

In 2008, tens of thousands of Mahalla citizens in Mahalla staged a general strike on 6 and 7 April protesting rising prices and low payments. The protesters engaged in violent clashes with security, smashed a photograph of the president and set both schools and the city’s National Democratic Party offices on fire.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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