CAIRO: Workers in the Nile Delta town of Kafr El Dawwar will go on strike today in solidarity with workers in nearby Ghazl Al Mahalla, according to sources within the labor group Ghazl Kafr El Dawwar Workers for Change.
Thousands of workers at the Ghazl Al Mahalla factory in Mahalla have been on strike since Sunday, staging a sit-in inside the factory. The new strike comes roughly 10 months after another strike involving 27,000 workers forced the management of the state-run factory to make concessions on issues of salaries and benefits.
But Mahalla workers say few of management’s promises have been fulfilled, and that months of negotiations have been fruitless. The mood of frustration appears to be spreading to other industrial sites as well.
“After closely following what is happening to our brothers and comrades from the Mahalla workers, and after all the efforts they did to reach a just settlement with the management, we find there was rightly no other choice in front of them but to strike, said Kareem El Beheiri, an employee at Ghazl Kafr El Dawwar and an activist with Ghazl Kafr El Dawwar Workers for Change, in a statement released on the group’s website. “Diplomacy, delegations and pleas are not going to solve the workers’ problems, he added.
Like workers in Mahalla, those in Kafr El Dawwar also complain that eight months after they struck a deal with management to end their own strike, the bosses have failed to live up to their end of the deal.
“We also demand that the Kafr El Dawwar management implement the rest of our demands, which they have shelved, including fixing the transportation buses at the factory, improving medical services for the workers, and opening the door for promotions for those have earned diplomas, said Beheiri on the group’s website, http://egyworkers.blogspot.com.