Junta Says Return to Work, But Egypt Strikes Continue

Strikers Demand Ouster of Corrupt Managers

by Jason Ditz, February 16, 2011

The massive public protests that ousted long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak may be over, but the situation in Egypt is far from back to business as usual, with large numbers of striking workers still refusing to return to work until their grievances are addressed.

When the military junta took over Egypt, they ordered an end to all strikes and even an end to labor meetings, but this does not appear to have had much impact, as the strikes continue and demands for the ouster of crooked Mubarak-era managers grows all the stronger.

With the military’s virtual stranglehold on Egypt’s entire economy, it seems that economic reforms will be slow in coming, but that the workers simply aren’t going to take no for an answer and that the military’s demands for a return to the pre-revolution status quo, except with them instead of Mubarak in charge, is going to be resisted vigorously.

As with most of the nations in the region, unemployment has been rising precipitously in Egypt, and the extremely low level of pay in the state run industries is not keeping up with the soaring price of food. This, as much as any objections to Mubarak’s tyranny, was a major source of protests, and is bound to linger long beyond Mubarak’s ouster.

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