Protesters block vital Cairo tunnel

A number of protesters have blocked the tunnel that connects Opera Square to Salah Salem in Cairo, joining a wave of labor demonstrations sweeping Egypt since the resignation of President Hosni Mubarak on 11 February.

Tunnel workers put barricades at the tunnel's entrance, obstructing vehicles arriving from Heliopolis to Downtown. They were protesting officials' failure to issue them with permanent contracts, as was promised on Thursday.

The protesters marched through the vital tunnel to Opera Square. They said they have been working under temporary contracts for eleven years without medical insurance, adding that their monthly payments do not exceed LE300 despite their daily exposure to car exhaust fumes, which has given many asthma.

The demonstrators also complained that they were stuck between two government agencies, the Cairo Governorate and the National Authority for Tunnels, each of which claim their affiliation.

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