Socialist Worker

Strike by workers who opened door to Egypt's revolution

by Anne Alexander
Issue No. 2312

Some 23,000 workers at the giant Misr Spinning plant in Mahalla al-Kubra, Egypt, walked out on strike last Sunday.

Over 3,000 workers set up camp in the factory grounds. They elected committees to oversee organisation, security, negotiations and provisions.

The Misr plant was the birthplace of the strike wave in 2006 which opened the gates of revolution.

Now the workers are demanding the sacking of Fouad Abd-al-Alim—the head of the public sector Holding Company for Weaving and Garment Production.

He used to run the Mahalla company, and workers say he was inefficient and corrupt. They also want an increased share of profits.

But this is not just a strike against a corrupt boss and for better bonuses. Workers are fighting to save their company.

The Misr mill has been on short-time working for months. Workers are demanding that the government invests in the factory, rather than running it down.

The Mahalla workers are not alone in challenging newly-elected president Mohamed Mursi. Strikes have multiplied in the last two weeks.

In Suez alone, workers at 12 companies were on strike this Monday. Misr strike leader Faysal Loqasha said, “Workers will make a new revolution”.

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Tue 17 Jul 2012, 16:42 BST
Issue No. 2312
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