Mobster tactics against strike leave one worker dead in Mahalla

Ahram Online, Sunday 22 Jul 2012

Workers blame company owner for attack by thugs on picket line at Al-Samoly Company in Mahalla that left one dead and four injured on Saturday

Mahalla workers stage demonstration in 2008 (Photo: Nasser Nouri)

An attack on striking workers at the Al-Samoly Company for Spinning and Weaving in Mahalla on Saturday left one dead and four injured, according to Haitham Mohamadeen, a member of the independent trade union association.

The dead man has been named as Ahmed Hosni and the injured are being treated in the Mahalla and Mansoura hospitals.

Many people at the scene blamed the company owner for initiating the attack, said Mohamadeen.

The strikers caught one of the three attackers and handed him over to the police, he added.

Hundreds of striking workers had blocked the Mahalla-Mansoura road to demand the payment of late salaries, wage increases and better incentives.

Investigations into the incident are ongoing and the accused is being interrogated.

Egypt is witnessing a new wave of strikes that started when thousands of textile workers at the state-owned Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving Company – Egypt's largest textile manufacturer – walked out on 16 July.

Mahalla Misr Spinning and Weaving Company, which employs some 24,000 people, have 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 in 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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