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Egyptian protests erupt over pay

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posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 07:35 AM
The Egyptians are at it again, now they are protesting over poor pay

Egypt crisis: Protests switch to demands on pay

Fresh protests and strikes have flared in Egypt as demonstrators demand better pay and conditions from the country's new military rulers.

Bank, transport and tourism workers all demonstrated in Cairo after 18 days of protests succeeded in removing President Hosni Mubarak.

The military did finally clear Cairo's Tahrir Square of protesters but hundreds later returned.

They included police wanting to show solidarity with the movement.

Most of the thousands of protesters in the square had left on Sunday after welcoming the announcement by the new ruling military council that it would dissolve parliament and suspend the constitution.
'Honour the martyrs'

The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says there appears to be a whole series of mini-revolutions going on in the wake of the removal of Mr Mubarak and that the big challenge now facing the military rulers may be staving off a wave of strikes.

The ruling military council has urged people to return to work to try to get the country back to normal.

However, it had to instruct banks to remain closed on Monday following the strike threats.

The Egyptian stock exchange has also postponed its reopening until Sunday at the earliest.

Hundreds of bank employees protested on Monday outside a branch of the Bank of Alexandria in central Cairo, calling for their managers to resign.

Outside the state TV and radio building, hundreds of public transport workers took part in a demonstration, calling for better pay.

One protester, Ahmed Ali, told Reuters news agency: "The big people steal and the little people get nothing."

Many employees blame bosses for what they consider to be huge earnings gaps in companies.

Ambulance drivers parked 70 of their emergency vehicles along a riverside road in a pay protest.

Near the Great Pyramids, some 150 tourism industry workers also demanded higher wages.

The tourism sector, which accounts for 6% of GDP and is in its peak season, has been badly hit by the anti-government demonstrations.

Strikes and protests at other state-owned firms across Egypt have hit the postal, media, textile and steel industries.

There are reports the military is planning to prevent meetings by labour unions or professional organisations, effectively banning strikes. Correspondents say this could cause more unrest and trouble.

In a separate protest, hundreds of uniformed and plainclothes police marched to Tahrir Square, shouting "We and the people are one" and vowing to "honour the martyrs of the revolution".

The officers wanted to convey the message that they had been forced to act against their wishes in using force on protesters early in the anti-government demonstration.

Our correspondent, Jon Leyne, says whereas the army is fairly well trusted, the police are frankly detested and this effort to rebuild relations with the public will take a lot of time and hard work.

He says that earlier on Monday, security forces had removed the final protesters from Tahrir Square, using a degree of force and making a few arrests. But the square soon filled again with a new wave of protesters.
'Sincere desire'

On Sunday, a statement from the higher military council was read out on state TV, saying it would suspend the constitution and set up a committee to draft a new one, which would then be put to a popular referendum.

During the transition, the cabinet appointed by Mr Mubarak last month will go on governing, submitting legislation to the army chiefs for approval.

The opposition's Ayman Nour described the military leadership's steps as a "victory for the revolution".

Key activist Wael Ghonim added that there had been an encouraging meeting between the military and youth representatives on Sunday.

"[The military] said they will go after corrupt people no matter what their position current or previous," Mr Ghonim reported.

He added: "We felt a sincere desire to protect the gains of the revolution and an unprecedented respect for the right of young Egyptians to express their opinions."

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu also welcomed the military announcement, saying the treaty between Israel and Egypt was a cornerstone of Middle East stability.

He will meet the visiting chairman of the US military's Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm Mike Mullen, on Monday to discuss the Egyptian situation.

Adm Mullen arrived in Israel from a meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan, which has also been hit by protests in the wave of Middle Eastern unrest.

posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 07:38 AM

A true work of beauty not even the Gods could construct.


posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 07:50 AM
What better pay and better working conditions? Don't they realize that low pay and bad working conditions is better for everyone? These people haven't been free a month and they are already at odds with capitalism.

posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 08:17 AM
reply to post by NeoSpace

Good lord, I am starting to think they got a thrill out of protesting so now they are looking for any excuse. How can they be protesting pay when things are supposed to go back to normal? Have they even gone back to work yet? They haven't even elected someone to run the country yet. Talk about a lack of patience for the changes they so badly wanted.. Why didn't they ask for pay instead of demanding Mubarak leave immeadiately lol.

posted on Feb, 14 2011 @ 08:28 AM
Wow, the actual reason for the protest now on mainstream news... surprising.

Perhaps I am short-sighted, but from my perspective, ECONOMICS IS EVERYTHING.

The heads of companies, banks, and upper class in general was, and is not protesting. They had it good just the way things were and dearly want the situation to return as close to what it was, as soon as possible.

This has been the fine balancing line of governments and kings throughout history, give the plebs just enough for them to feel that they will have something to lose if they revolt.

The reality of our economic system is that greater and greater wealth is going to fewer and fewer people. That, along with a greater access to media showing the wealth that the average westerner has, is making the world rife for revolt. Trust me, when it becomes a chore to afford housing and food revolution is never far behind.

That being said, paying the military handsomely can be enough to ensure they quash any popular revolt, and has worked very nicely in the past.

the Billmeister
edit on 14-2-2011 by Billmeister because: grammar

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