Strikes in Egypt “have become more commonplace and action has often drawn government concessions,” according to a nice factbox about the labor struggle in Egypt published by Reuters on Monday.
A interesting summary of recent industrial actions in the autocratic country and the responses from firms and the Egyptian government is then provided:
Textiles – A December 2006 strike by thousands of workers in a state-owned spinning factory wins government concessions on pay and bonuses, encouraging a wave of strikes and other protests across Egypt.
Tax – In April 2009, fourteen months after winning a 325 percent pay increase, real estate tax collectors win legal recognition for Egypt’s first independent trade union since 1957.
Transport – Truck drivers in February this year strike over new law banning articulated trailers, pushing up the cost of building materials. The government gives longer grace period to comply.
Health – Pharmacists strike for several days in February over government plan to apply taxes retroactively. The government promises to reconsider. Doctors protest this year after a delayed government response to pay demands. Security forces prevent them from approaching parliament.
Law – In March, lawyers throughout Egypt protest over proposed increase to court fees. Government amends the proposal.
Post – Postal workers have organised a number of strikes across the country since May over wages, job security and a new appraisal system. No clear government response.
Fertilisers – Workers in Suez protest fertiliser exports to Israel. Strike broken and workers deducted 15 days pay.