President Hosni Mubarak faces discontent from many quarters, but perhaps the most intense criticism resonates from the banners and shaking fists of militant workers who have broken away from government-controlled unions and staged sporadic strikes across the nation.
The Egyptian government frequently muffles free speech and political dissent, but these ragged and often disorganized picket lines present a widening crisis for a president viewed as detached from the working class and unable to lift wages and stem double-digit inflation.
“Mubarak doesn’t care about workers at all anymore,” said Mohammed Shorbagy, who held a Koran in a plastic bag and stood amid litter and lean-tos during a strike last month at the Misr Spinning and Weaving Factory in this Nile Delta city. “Why is the president asleep? We’ve been here for four days and he’s done nothing.” [complete article]
See also, The Militancy of Mahalla al-Kubra (MERIP).