19 October, 2009

Egypt Labour Updates - October 19, 2009

More links from Diigo

* Al-Youm Al-Sab'e reports that 1200 workers at the cooperatives at Misr Spinning and Weaving in Mahalla staged a sit-in when the morning shift ended on Sunday after the management refused to pay a bonus granted by the minister of investments to all workers in the public business sector, on the grounds that the workers belong not to this sector but to the federation of cooperatives.

* Last Thursday, workers at the carpet factory in Mahalla staged a sit-in for the same reason, and ended it only after their demands were met. Labour leaders in Mahalla described the bonus - which amounts to one months salary - as a "new victory for Egypt's workers" since it is an attempt by the government to contain ongoing tensions and protests in the industrial sector.

* The Center for Socialist Studies also reports: Workers at the self-managed factory in 10th of Ramadan ended their strike (se previous update) after a promise by the ministry of labour to pay two months wages from the emergency fund. According to a local unionist, the real battle will be to get the required funding for revitalizing the factory according to a plan drawn up by the workers, and making it financially independent.

* Workers at the General Authority for Financial Markets threatened to strike against a decrease in their monthly salaries with up to 25 percent, which occurred after the ministry of finance merged three authorities (the Capital Market Authority, the Egyptian Insurance Supervisory Authority and the Mortgage Finance Authority) to create the General Authority of Financial Regulation. 

* Tadamon reports that Ghazl Al-Mahalla unionist Mohamed al-Attar started an open-ended sit-in at the company warehouse in Alexandria after managers fined him for alleged "absence."  Al-Attar played a leading role during the strikes of December 2006 and September 2007, but were later criticized by socialist activists and labour leaders at the factory for his willingness to compromise with the management and the state-controlled union - especially in connection with the declared strike of April 6 in 2008. After an anti-privatization in October last year he was transfered to Alexandria and is now accusing the management of creating an excuse to fire him.

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