In a number of spontaneous strikes, workers have yesterday joined the protests against the Egypt government. They demand the legal right to form independent trade unions and an increase of the legal minimum wage, which has remained unchanged since 1984.
“Egypt’s labour movement has been the sleeping giant of the past two weeks’ protests, and its involvement could amount to a real fillip for the anti-government demonstrations”, the Wall Street Journal observes. It adds that Egypt has seen an increase of labour strikes over the past five or six years, many resulting in concessions to workers. A 2007 strike gave birth to a youth organisation that helped spark the current uprising. (More labour news from Egypt here)