Feb. 9th, 2011

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Al Jazeera Live Blog Feb10

Guardian Blog
Talks between the Egyptian regime and opposition figures are on the brink of collapse
The Egyptian military has been involved in beatings and other abuses, according to an investigation by the Guardian
Egypt's provinces have seen widespread protests, in further signs that the uprising has spread beyond the major cities
A wave of strikes erupted across the economy, including railway workers, public employees and electricity staff
It sounds like the next big protest is being planned for Friday but there will be more to come tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

11.26pm: Canada's Globe and Mail has an interview with Ahmed Saleh, a former member of the April 6 Youth Movement and one of the earliest protesters, on what happens next:



A 2009 article from Reuters mentions that fact that Egyptians had been increasingly striking in order to up pay and work conditions over the past couple of years.Egyptian worker demands, government responds Reuters thought back then that the strike objectives would not become wider demands for change.

Now, labor unions are joining the revolution Labour unions boost protests

Thousands of factory workers stay away from work as pro-democracy protesters continue to rally seeking Mubarak's ouster.

Egyptian labour unions have gone on a nationwide strike, adding momentum to pro-democracy demonstrations in Cairo and other cities.

Al Jazeera correspondents, reporting from Egypt, said around 20,000 factory workers stayed away from work on Wednesday.

Al Jazeera's Shirine Tadros, reporting from Cairo, said that some workers "didn't have a political demand".

"They were saying that they want better salaries, they want an end to the disparity in the pay, and they want the 15 per cent increase in pay that was promised to them by the state."

However, Tadros also said that some workers were calling for Hosni Mubarak, the Egyptian president, to step down.

The strike action came as public rallies calling for Mubarak to immediately hand over power entered their 16th day.


Interview: Fatma Ramadan:Building Egypt's new labor movement

Building Egypt's new labor movement
February 8, 2011

In the five years prior to Egypt's popular uprising, Egyptian workers have repeatedly demonstrated their capacity to fight against their employers and Hosni Mubarak's police state. While textile workers have led the way with dramatic, high-profile strikes, the new labor activism has involved workers in several industries.

Fatma Ramadan, a trade unionist, labor researcher and socialist in Egypt, has been deeply involved in the new workers' movement. In an interview conducted shortly before the the mass demonstrations took off at the end of January, she spoke with spoke with Lee Sustar at the recent Other Davos conference in Basel, Switzerland.MORE

Demonstrations and strikes across Egypt

Thousands of Luxor's unemployed and those affected by the impaired tourism sector gathered in front of the Labour Force Authority to register their names and seek compensation and financial aid as designated by the ministry of finance.

Head of the authority Abdraboh Hassan said that its employees have worked from eight in the morning receiving applications and registering them. He added that owners of small businesses, investors and businessmen have the right to apply for compensation as well, though not through the authority.

A large number sought unemployment benefit, many of whom graduates or diploma holders from the classes but were unable to find jobs. Others applicants do not hold regular jobs or have been afflicted by the suspension of tourism.MORE

Egypt: A new wave of workers strikes and sit-ins

Following the “Million Man" demonstrations and mass strikes that escalated across Egypt on Tuesday, a new wave of mass strikes and workers' sit-ins also spread on Wednesday.

Ahram Online has been receiving continuous reports of strikes breaking out in both public and private companies across the country, many of which are still being confirmed. At the time of publishing, the Center for Trade Union and Workers Services (CTUWS) had confirmed the following:

More than 2000 workers started a strike in Helwan’s silk factories and circulated the office of the company’s chairman demanding his exclusion.

Thousands of workers have started a strike in Helwan’s coke factories demanding higher wages and full-time contracts.

In Mahala's Spinning and Weaving factory, hundreds started a sit-in in front of the administration building.

In Kafr El-Zaiat hospital, 1500 nurses started a sit-in demanding their late wages.

Four hundred workers in Suez’s Egypt National Steel Factory started an open strike demanding higher wages.

In Menoufeia, more than 750 of Schweppes factory workers started a sit-in demanding higher wages.

More than 800 of the spinning and weaving workers in Menoufeia started a sit-in demanding higher wages.MORE


Read more... )


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