Workers from Mahalla Spinning and Weaving returned to work Saturday after a 12-day strike. The Ministry of Manpower and labour leaders managed to reach a deal Friday, as the Minister of Manpower said the state would implement the minimum income promised to the workers.
Faisal Lacushah, an activist and employee at the Mahalla textile plant, said that workers are giving the Ministry of Investment two months to implement the minimum income policy. If no progress is made, Lacushah said, the workers will strike again.
An agreement signed by labour leaders and the investment minister promised to restructure the company’s board. The company’s CEO will also be fired.
Thousands of workers have been participating in the sit-in that shut down the plant and cost the factory an estimated EGP 20m as of Monday.
Workers staged an open-ended sit-in inside the company headquarters on 10 February to demand EGP 155m in wages and bonuses promised to the workers in November. The workers were promised the same thing in December but were never paid.
Thousands of Kafr Al-Dawar employees joined the strike on Sunday in solidarity with the Mahalla workers.
Striking workers also demanded that state-owned Mahalla Spinning and Weaving implement the new government set minimum income of EGP 1,200 a month. Some workers currently earn EGP 500 a month.
Workers claimed that the failure to implement the state-sanctioned minimum income is a violation of the pledges of the government. Abdel Fattah Ibrahim, head of the Union of Textile Workers, also accused the government of “not wanting to stabilise Egypt”.