Labor protests in Upper Egypt disrupt trains

Workers from the Nile Cotton Ginning Company in Minya, Upper Egypt blocked the railways on Tuesday, protesting frequent late payment of their salaries, as they have not been paid for more than six months.

The blockage has disrupted both train movement and traffic. Security leaders and members of Parliament tried to persuade the workers to end their protest and promised that their demands would be discussed in Parliament.

The Egyptian Railways Authority has lost about LE70 million from 28 January 2011 to 10 January 2012, according to an official authority report on the impact of railroad strikes and sit-ins since the 25 January revolution began. The number of trains delayed due to these disruptions reached 1,720 nationwide, said the report, which was released in January.

Since the uprising that toppled the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak, people have disrupted train service as a way to force authorities to make concessions.

An April sit-in in Qena Governorate to protest the appointment of a Coptic former police general as governor cut off train service. The sit-in ended after 10 days, when the governor was removed from his post.

Around 2,000 residents of the village of Ayat in Giza blocked a railroad in June to protest against the installation of a mobile phone tower in their village. The sit-in ended when construction was halted.

Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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