Army enters factory as Shebin El-Kom textile workers resume sit-in

Dina Samak , Thursday 7 Apr 2011

The army went into the Shebin El-Kom textile plant, as hundreds of its workers voted to resume their strike after accusing management of backtracking on agreements made

Workers of Shebin El-Kom Textile Company in Menoufiya, north of Cairo, are to resume their strike after suspending it for two days following an agreement between the workers and company management.

"We have proof that the agreement will not be fulfilled," says Ali Mohamed, one of the factory workers. "One of our main demands was that the sacked workers return to their jobs, or at least equivalent positions, and this did not happen."

Workers accuse the company of trying to manipulate dismissed workers, forcing them to sign resignation letters, saying that this will grant their colleagues a return to work.

Management called the armed forces into the plant as workers approached it to resume their sit-in. "The army is in the factory right now, but they are neutral until this moment," said Mohamed, refuting news circulated on the Internet that the army attacked the plant, fired bullets in the air and threatened to arrest striking workers.   

Shebin El-Kom Textiles Company workers held a 35-day long sit-in to protest against the Indonesian management’s attempts at eliminating the workforce and dismantling factories in order to reuse the 152 acres of land on which the factory stands. Now they say that they will not end their sit-in until all their demands are met.

Representatives from the armed forces and management are meeting to discuss fulfilling the workers' demands. The agreement reached between workers and management last Tuesday was supposed to come in force starting next Saturday.  


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