Egypt: Mobster tactics against labour strike leave one worker killed in Mahalla

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Jul 22 2012 13:41
Egypt: Mobster tactics against labour strike leave one worker killed in Mahalla

An attack on striking workers at the Al-Samoly Company for Spinning and Weaving in Mahalla on Saturday left one worker dead and four injured.
Many people at the scene blamed the company owner for being behind the attack.

The strikers caught one of the attackers and handed him over to the police.

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, has 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.