Mahalla textile workers protest non-payment of salaries

18 Sep 2009, written by
مظاهرة عمال شركة ابوالسباع فى المحلة by mohammed maree محمد مرعى.
Photo by Mohammed Maree
Tensions broke out when security forces prevented workers from demonstrating.

By Sarah Carr / Daily News Egypt

CAIRO: Workers from the Aboul Seba’ textile factory in Mahalla staged a protest in the Delta town on Thursday, protesting late salary payments.

A video filmed by blogger Mohamed Maree shows hundreds of people marching and chanting slogans including “Where’s the press?” and “Left, right we’ll reach you Ismail.”

According to Maree, factory owner Ismail Aboul Seba’ has refused to pay out employees’ wages.

Thursday’s demonstration is the second incident in the factory in three months.

In July workers launched a strike — again over unpaid wages — and clashed with security forces when the latter attempted to break up the demonstration workers were staging outside the factory, which had blocked roads leading to it.

According to Maree tensions broke out on Wednesday when security forces again prevented workers from demonstrating outside the factory. Members of security bodies “promised” workers that they would be paid the same day.

“Workers instead found a notice pinned up inside the factory announcing 15 days obligatory holidays for the workers without pay,” Maree reports on his blog

Workers were also told that they would not receive outstanding salary payments.

During Thursday’s demonstration workers marched to Ismail Aboul Seba’s house. For half an hour they chanted slogans denouncing conditions inside the factory.

In July Aboul Seba’ worker Alaa El-Gameel told Daily News Egypt that he earns LE 300 bi-weekly. He has also not been given a permanent position at the factory despite having worked there for 10 years.

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