Workers in Cairo joined thousands of state employees on strike Thursday in spreading labor unrest that has pumped further strength and momentum into Egypt's wave of anti-government protests. Writing in Arabic on placard center-left reads "Increase basic pay" and on placard center-right "End of work pension: 60 months. Infection risk pay: 100 percent. Rule No. 48 replacing rule No. 47." (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Following the “Million Man" demonstrations and mass strikes that escalated across Egypt on Tuesday, a new wave of mass strikes and workers' sit-ins also spread on Wednesday.
Ahram Online has been receiving continuous reports of strikes breaking out in both public and private companies across the country, many of which are still being confirmed. At the time of publishing, the Center for Trade Union and Workers Services (CTUWS) had confirmed the following:
More than 2000 workers started a strike in Helwan’s silk factories and circulated the office of the company’s chairman demanding his exclusion.
Thousands of workers have started a strike in Helwan’s coke factories demanding higher wages and full-time contracts.
In Mahala's Spinning and Weaving factory, hundreds started a sit-in in front of the administration building.
In Kafr El-Zaiat hospital, 1500 nurses started a sit-in demanding their late wages.
Four hundred workers in Suez’s Egypt National Steel Factory started an open strike demanding higher wages.
In Menoufeia, more than 750 of Schweppes factory workers started a sit-in demanding higher wages.
More than 800 of the spinning and weaving workers in Menoufeia started a sit-in demanding higher wages.
In Cairo, 200 workers from the General Committee for Drug Supervision started a sit-in demanding full time contracts and higher wages.
Apart from the demands calling for democratic reforms that have triggered Egypt’s mass protests, social and economic needs have been at the core of the country’s political unrest in recent years.
Although a 2010 court ruling demanded that a new minimum wage be set, the government promised to set a minimum of only LE400 per month (about $70), allowing tensions to soar.