Discontent Among Egypt's Workers

[Los Angeles Times] Jeffrey Fleishman - Perhaps the most intense criticism of Mubarak resonates from the banners and shaking fists of militant workers who have broken away from government-controlled unions and staged sporadic strikes across the nation. At the Misr Spinning and Weaving Factory in the Nile delta, thousands of male and female strikers hanged the company president in effigy and took over the textile mill's courtyard, banging drums and giving speeches. The weeklong strike last month ended peacefully when the government-owned company made concessions on wages and profit-sharing bonuses that fell short of workers' demands. Nearly a year ago, the same workers struck for several days, igniting solidarity across Egypt as work stoppages spread to railway, flour and other industries. Mubarak's economic reforms have led to 7% economic growth in each of the last three years. But this has not benefited workers whose stagnant salaries have been decimated by monthly inflation rates as high as 15%.

2007-11-01 01:00:00

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