Egypt Daily Update: Thousands of Textile Workers Strike in Mahalla

August 9, 2017

Thousands of Textile Workers Strike in Mahalla

Four Policemen Killed by Gunmen in North Sinai

Egyptian MPs: U.S. Gun Violence Worse than Attacks against Copts

Cartoon of the Day: The Foreign Reserves Increased

Top Stories


Thousands of Textile Workers Strike in Mahalla

On Wednesday, thousands of workers at the state-owned Mahalla Textile and Weaving Company in al-Mahalla al-Kubra continued [Ar] their strike over low wages  for the third day in a row. Mada Masr estimated [Ar] that around 16,000 workers are participating in the strike, and that the workers are demanding a ten percent basic salary raise, a ten percent increase in social benefits, and an increase in monthly food allowances from 210 Egyptian pounds ($11.63) to 400 Egyptian pounds ($22.16). Faisal Loksha, the worker leading the strike, told al-Ahram that workers at the factory were shocked that they did not receive the ten percent raise in basic salary promised by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in May 2017 for public sector workers not covered by the civil service law.

Management at the company reportedly held a meeting with representatives of the workers on Tuesday night and offered workers a ten percent basic salary raise in exchange for ending the strike. Workers refused the offer and said that they would not return to work until all of their demands were met. A worker told Mada Masr that all of the company’s factories are now participating in the strike, including eight weaving factories, seven garment factories, eleven textile factories, a wool factory, and several others. The strike is not unusual, as the workers at Mahalla Textile and Weaving Company also went on strike every year from 2012 to 2015.


Four Policemen Killed by Gunmen in North Sinai

According to security sources and state-run media, unidentified gunmen opened [Ar] fire on a police vehicle in North Sinai during a routine patrol forty kilometers west of the city of al-Arish. Four policemen were killed, and authorities were reportedly looking for the perpetrators. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Militant attacks on police and military have been common across Egypt since 2013, and the Egyptian army and air force is currently fighting a protracted conflict in North Sinai against an insurgency led by Wilayat Sinai, an Islamic State affiliate.

Wilayat Sinai has been active this year, including launching several devastating attacks on civilian targets and killing dozens of security forces so far this year alone. However, the ISIS affiliate uncharacteristically did not issue any news reports or propaganda material for 16 days straight in the end of July and beginning of August, according to analysts. The group broke its silence on August 6, and has issued a number of claims of responsibility through the media outlet Amaq News over the past few days.


Egyptian MPs: U.S. Gun Violence Worse than Attacks against Copts

A congressional source leaked a letter from 18 Egyptian members of Parliament railing against the U.S. travel warning on Egypt and asserting that the “unfortunate loss of life of less than 100 Egyptians” in church bombings is “non comparable to the number of shootings Chicago and Baltimore have witnessed in one year, resulting in approximately 950 Americans dead.” A former senior State Department official responded to the letter, telling al-Monitor that “all it does is irritate Americans enormously. It’s dumb and all it’s going to do is irritate people and it’ll make [the authors] look sort of stupid in Congress.” Coptic Solidarity, an advocacy organization focused on the rights of Egyptian Christians, also condemned the comparison as a false equivalency. Egyptian lawmakers have expressed their anger at the State Department travel warning for Egypt issued in July.


Cartoon of the Day: The Foreign Reserves Increased

“Wake up already… the foreign reserves increased!”
Anwar – Al-Masry Al-Youm – 08/09/2017


Also Worth Reading

Egypt Censors Al-Mesryoon Newspaper, Harasses Editors

The Committee to Protect Journalists