Construction of a new state-owned power station in the city of Ain Sokhna on Egypt's Red Sea cost was suspended on Monday morning after workers from various subcontracting companies declared a strike, Al-Ahram's Arabic-language news website reported, citing an unnamed electricity ministry source.
"Almost 150 workers from several subcontracting companies staged a strike this morning, blocking the plant's entrances to demand permanent employment contracts," Seood Ahmed, Suez-based trade unionist and labour activist, told Ahram Online.
Construction worker Mumen Abd El-Kerim said: "Electricity ministry officials repeatedly promised us that we would be granted permanent employment contracts. But we were told yesterday by factory management that other workers from outside Suez had already been employed."
The new power plant is scheduled to come online by April and will boast a maximum capacity of 1,300 megawatts.
Due to recent circumstances, however, completion of the plant may be delayed until 2014, according to electricity ministry officials.
"We've staged six consecutive strikes to voice the same demands," said Ahmed Mohamed, another construction worker. "The management is corrupt; managers prefer to appoint their relatives instead of us."