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Strike ends in Egypt's largest factory in Mahallah

About 15,000 Mahalla workers ended their strike after main demands were met

AFP, Sunday 20 Feb 2011
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Workers at Egypt's largest factory ended a strike and went back to work on Sunday, one of the protest leaders said, days after the ruling military warned it would no longer tolerate labour unrest.

Faisal Naousha, one of the leaders of the walkout at Misr Spinning and Weaving, said the factory was running again after the strikers' main demands were met.

Around 15,000 workers from the plant which employs 24,000 people in the Nile Delta city of Al-Mahalla Al-Kubra, 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Cairo went on strike last week.

"We ended the strike, the factory is working. Our demands were met," including a 25 per cent increase in wages and the dismissal of a manager involved in corruption, Naousha said.

Misr Spinning and Weaving is the largest plant in the Egyptian textile industry, which employs 48 per cent of the nation's total workforce, according to the Center for Trade Union and Workers' Services.

Both the public and private sectors have seen industrial action since longtime president Hosni Mubarak stood down on 11 February after an 18-day popular uprising against his regime.

Banks, which closed last week as their workers staged protests demanding better pay and an end to corruption, reopened for business on Sunday.

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