Some labor strikes resolved, says minister

Manpower and Immigration Minister Khaled al-Azhary said that seven labor strikes were settled, out of a total of 16 strikes around the country, between 16 and 18 September.

Nine other strikes are being discussed and investigated.

Azhary said in a statement on Thursday that according to a report he had received, the demands of protests around the country differ from one company to another, and include higher wages and bonuses, allowances for risky or unusual jobs, transportation for workers, and reinstatement of dismissed workers.

Over the past week, Egypt has seen an increase in protests demanding better working conditions, the most prominent being the teachers and public transportation workers’ protests.

Some observers blame President Mohamed Morsy for the protests, especially as the 100-day program he proposed before winning the presidency included a number of reforms that have not been effected.

The Interior Ministry said in a statement on Thursday that the period from 1 August until 17 September witnessed 1,409 protests that have cut off roads and disrupted rail lines.

The ministry said it has arrested 642 people suspected of inciting road blockages. They were referred to the public prosecution, which released 135 of them, while the others are still in detention.

The ministry attributed the increase in the number of protests during the period from 11 to 17 September to the increase in “factional demands” with the start of the school year, in addition to other protests against the anti-Islam film.

Ahmed Abdel Khaleq, vice president of the University of Beni Suef, said that the minister of higher education and the government have taken legal action against strikers in universities.

He said the ministry distributed a memo to all universities in Egypt demanding that instigators and any acts of sabotage within universities be reported to the governorate security department and the ministry.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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