16,000 Mahalla Textile Company workers have been on strike since Saturday, calling for their delayed annual bonus, an increase in their share of the company’s profits, as well as other demands related to promotions and food allowance.
Workers on evening shift started striking on Saturday, and were followed by the night and morning shifts respectively. The workers leave company property by the end of their shift, leaving the strike in the hands of the succeeding shift workers, instead of continuously and simultaneously occupying the premises as they had in previous strikes.
One of the striking workers, who spoke to Mada Masr on Monday under the condition of anonymity, said that the strike is being implemented at all of the company’s several factories, which include eight spinning factories, seven cloth factories, one wool factory, one grille workshop, 11 textile factories, as well as the garage, electricity and water departments.
He added that the company urged the workers to end the strike, promising to address their demands on Thursday, but that the workers insisted on continuing to strike until their demands were met.
The workers were scheduled to receive their annual bonus in July, comprising 10 percent of their salaries, and decided to strike a month after its delay. According to their lawyer, in 2016 the company was a year late in giving out the bonuses, prompting the workers to take action when they felt that their payment would be delayed again.
The workers also demanded an increase in their shares of the company profits, as well as salary reviews and promotions, which they have not received for two years.
Workers at the Mahalla Textile companies have protested several times in the past decade, starting in December 2006 and again the following year. The workers did not strike on April 6 2008, but the city witnessed big demonstrations against security forces intervening during strikes. The company workers have protested once every year between 2012 and 2015.