Hundreds of workers block Alexandria railway in labour strike

Ahram Online, Wednesday 23 Jan 2013

Alexandria rail line cut off by workers who threaten suicide over unpaid salaries

A labour strike of workers employed in Musahmet El-Beheria Company, a land reclamation company on the Cairo-Alexandria road, spread Tuesday morning to the Alexandria railway, cutting off the track.

According to Al-Ahram's Arabic-language website, workers have not recieved their salaries for the fourth consecutive month. The workers held onto the rails as they protested, threatening to commit suicide by letting a train run over them if their demands are not met.

The protestors told Al-Ahram that no government official had attended to their hardships, which caused them to take such extreme measures calling attention to their difficulties.

Ahmed Hussein, one of the workers, told Al-Ahram: "The company hasn’t had any activities for two years and hasn’t initiated any new projects. Although the company is affiliated with the government and is subsidiary to the Ministry of Agriculture, the situation has deteriorated to the extent where we don’t receive our salaries. How are we to live and provide for our families?"

Since the outset of the January 25 Revolution in 2011, economic difficulties have led companies in both the public and private sectors to take drastic measures, either to cut workers, decrease salaries, or demand productivity raises that lead workers to strike.

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