Egypt workers strike over pay

Unrest over pay and bonus cripples Egypt's largest textile company.

    The strike is reportedly costing the
    company $3 million a day

    The strike began on Sunday after the workers' bonus demand was rejected by company managers.

     

    It's the second time in two years that employees have walked out, bringing the entire company to a standstill, costing it a loss of $3m a day.

     

    The company owners say they are in no financial position to pay these bonuses, insisting that they are suffering losses.

     

    Pay rise

     

    Mustafa Fouda, the man who is spearheading the strike, said: "We demand pay rises in line with inflation prices, and affordable housing.

     

    "We demand the workers' union board resigns and a new one is elected freely.

     

    "All we want is to be rewarded for our hard work."

     

    Fouda and his colleagues ask, with daily profits in the millions, where is all the money going to?

     

    One worker said hundreds of thousands of Egyptian pounds were being spent on the company's football team.

     

    "Look how much the stadium cost!" he said.

     

    The workers say towels manufactured by the company are sold in the EU and US markets for at least $15 a piece, while they are paid less than $2 per day.

     

    There are reports of a rift within the government, with the ministry of labour said to be in favour of improving workers salaries and the ministry of finance against.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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