A fight broke out on Wednesday in the Shura Council in a commission delegated with assessing the country’s textile industry. The clash began when Freedom and Justice Party lawmaker Tarek Al-Sayyed accused the managements of textile companies based in Kafr Al-Dawar of inciting their workers to strike, calling it a criminal act.
The accusation offended the workers from Kafr Al-Dawar attending the committee, who accused Al-Sayyed of not understanding the workers’ situation.
Al-Sayyed went on to accuse leaders in some companies of seeking to sow instability in the country, claiming the president of Helwan Company paid company workers to protest in front of the Ministry of Finance. He went on to demand that a committee be sent to inspect the company. The argument led to some scuffles.
The workers said their companies experienced serious shortages in raw materials and were using outdated machinery to manufacture textiles.
The head of the Shura Council’s Committee on Human Development said that it was important to remove obstacles from the industry, which is facing difficulties, and that monopolists threatening employment must be targeted. He also called for an end to corruption, including smuggling, which he claimed was common in the administrations of textile companies.
Dozens of textile workers protested at the Ministry of Investment, demanding that President Mohamed Morsi, Prime Minister Hesham Qandil, and the Ministry of Investment provide raw materials including cotton for their factories amidst shortages.
Additional reporting by Ibrahim Al-Masry