Al Mahalla Workers Maintain Strike till Getting Rights
Egyptian security forces arrested four strikers: Magdi Sherif”, Faisal Laqousha, Mohamed Al Atar, Gamal Al Saadawi and Wael Habib and they appeared before the prosecution that ordered their detention prolonged four more days under investigation.
Inside the factory, despite the news that government promulgated in its newspapers that the labour strike at Ghazl Al Mahala was ended, it was revealed that the spinning and weaving company is fully paralyzed and wards are empty and no one of the 24 thousand workers is working .
The workers on strike stood in front of the administration building and chanted slogans against the administration, the security and the government, like:
“Where is Hosni Mubarak “
“Our living condition is unbearable”
“Al Gabali is the enemy of Allah “
And other slogans. The demonstrators raised a hanged mascot referring to the company board chairman.
The workers confirmed that they will maintain their strike unless the board and the Minister of Labour approve their eight demands:
Ousting the company board chairman
Withdrawing confidence from the union committee
Linking the monthly incentives with a part of the basic salary
Increasing the food allowance to be in line with the price hikes
Paying 12 months
Paying housing and transportation allowance
A ninth demand was added: releasing their currently imprisoned colleagues.
Mohamed Metwalli Hegazi, an accountant at the board, said:” Some parties tried to accuse us of several charges, that the strike is orchestrated by communists and Muslim Brotherhood leaders. It is actually a false charge because we are workers, not politicians. What we do aims actually at protecting our rights. The question is: What will the company benefit when workers stage a strike and it loses.
Um Mohamed, a female worker, said:” We will stay here and won”t leave unless the factory addresses our demands. As a matter of fact, the factory has other problemes that require solutions, like the hospital and transportations and relieving Al Gabali of his post.
Ghazl Al Mahala labour strike may trigger strikes in several other factories and companies like what happened last year. A strike is expected to be staged on Wednesday at Kafr Al-Dawar and North Cairo Mills.