Labor protests escalate throughout Egypt

Labor protests continued in various governorates yesterday as hundreds of mine workers in Bahariya Oasis held sit-ins to protest poor living conditions. Around 50 Ministry of Religious Endowments workers also called for salary increases and dozens of temporary agricultural supervisors continued to protest for permanent positions.

In Port Said, hundreds of residents in the village of Radwan demanded investigations into violations regarding the sale of land allotted for college graduates (under the Mubarak project for young graduates) without official permission.

In Beni Suef, 1000 new graduates, workers, and teachers protested for the second day in a row in front of the Education Ministry building in the governorate. They called for real and permanent job opportunities. Protesters tried to storm the building but security forces stopped them. The protesters gathered on Saleh Salem road, one of the city’s main roads leading to surrounding highways, and blocked traffic. They threatened to storm the teachers’ union and set the Education Ministry building on fire if their demands are not met.

In Alexandria, tens of employees of the medical research center at the University of Alexandria organized a protest in front of the university’s administrative building. They called for permanent contracts for temporary employees, higher wages, and immediate administrative reforms to cleanse “the remnants of the previous regime.”

Dozens of residents of Nadha village in Amriya protested in front of the carbon factory. The protesters complained about the carbon emissions coming out of the factory, which they say have caused illness among residents. In addition, secondary school students organized a protest in front of the Qa’id Ibrahim Mosque, demanding they not be equated with vocational school students when applying for college. They also demanded that exams be postponed another month given the current unrest.

In Suez, around 1200 workers in the Egyptian and national steel companies blocked the Al-Adabiya-Ain Sokhna Road. The workers said the appropriate agencies have not yet interfered to solve their problems with the administration and meet their demands. Workers in the Egypt Amiron company for steel pipes continued their sit-in for the fourth consecutive day at company headquarters, hoping to get better financial and employment conditions, and a stake in the company’s profits. In Kafr al-Sheikh, bus drivers in the city of Desouk went on strike to protest the increasing cost of their insurance.

In Daqahlia, 1500 farmers protested the actions of the Ministry of Religious Endowments. The ministry had illegally sold land to traders and businessmen in a public auction. The farmers had been renting the land for more than 70 years.

In Damietta, tens of employees in the health departments in Farsco and Zarkaa held a protest, calling for increases in bonuses, the restructuring of wages, and the removal of the department’s financial manager.

In Menoufiya, 50 women from the families of prisoners in Shibin al-Kom general prison, protested in front of the courts’ complex to demand that their relatives be released or that they be allowed to visit them in the prison.

In Qalyoubia, around 300 drivers stormed the governorate’s building, destroying the main gate. They went up to the second floor, occupied the halls and encircled Governor Adli Hussein’s offices.

In Aswan, 700 workers in Al-Nasr mining company in Edfu presented a memorandum to the general miners’ union, the Egyptian Trade Union Federation and the Holding Company for Mining Industries, demanding the withdrawal of confidence from the chairman of the board and the employees’ union committee. Workers demanded a new temporary administrative committee composed of workers.

In Ismailia, a number of members of the chamber of the commerce demanded the dissolution of the current board of directors.

In response to labor strikes, the Ministry of Health distributed an administrative pamphlet to governorate health departments announcing that protesting is unacceptable and that there will be no negotiations with any group that protests.

The ministry confirmed that it formed a supreme committee to look into the employees’ problems and propose solutions, in an attempt to protect state agencies and ensure the continuation of its functions.

Since it took over power, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces has issued several statements calling on citizens to end strikes and protests and return to work.

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