Egypt: Mubarak’s concessions lead to more resistance
|Tuesday, April 29,2008 15:34|
The repression at Mahalla al-Kubra"s textile mills in Egypt has not dampened the wave of protests and strikes.
The government of Hosni Mubarak, a key US ally in the region, offered Mahalla workers a bonus of 30 days" pay in an effort to defuse the resistance.
But this has backfired as the bonus – described by the workers as a "bribe" – has set a new benchmark for workers across the country.
Textile workers at Wabariyat Sammanoud occupied their factory demanding parity with Mahalla workers. Children joined the factory occupation – which was led by the 750 women who make up the majority of its 1,300 workforce. The occupation won after a week.
A similar occupation took place at the Mansoura Espa?a Garments Company after new owners refused to honour an agreement forged during an earlier strike.
Meanwhile in the desert oasis of Bahariya, north west of the capital Cairo, over 5,000 demonstrators braved tear gas to protest at attacks on local authorities. The government backed down following the protests.
A campaign launched by doctors for a living wage has now spread to dentists. The wave of protests and strikes is the biggest in over 50 years.