Strike at Egypt's largest textile factory in Mahalla enters fourth day

Ahram Online, Wednesday 18 Jul 2012

Workers at state-owned Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving Co. maintain strike for fourth consecutive day to demand share of company profits, dismissal of company chairman

Thousands of textile workers at the state-owned Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving Company – Egypt's largest textiles manufacturer – continued their strike for the fourth day on Wednesday to demand a greater share of company profits and the removal of the holding company's chairman Fouad Abdel-Alim.

Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving, which employs some 24,000 people, has seen a series of strikes over similar grievances within the last 18 months.

On Monday and Tuesday, seven other textile factories – in Alexandria, Mahalla and other cities of the Nile Delta – followed suit, declaring strikes for similar demands.

Workers threatened to revive earlier protests seen in the final years of the Mubarak era, in which thousands of workers participated.

On 6 April 2008, labour protests in Mahalla were violently attacked by security forces, leaving at least two dead.

Strikes by Mahalla's textile workers in 2006 and 2008 are widely seen as having set the stage for last year's Tahrir Square uprising, which culminated in the ouster of longstanding Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

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