March 3, 2014
The Egyptian government, sworn in on Saturday, takes office as a fresh wave of labour unrest sweeps the country, adding to the turmoil from a chaotic and violent political transition.
In a televised address on Sunday, Ibrahim Mehleb, prime minister, said he called on the “patriotism” of Egyptians and that this was the moment for work, not strikes. A crippling stoppage by bus drivers last week has just ended but postal workers in many parts of the country remain on strike. Doctors, pharmacists, steel and textile workers have all carried out industrial action in recent days.
The strike by about 38,000 public bus drivers forced authorities to use the army and the private sector to provide alternative services. The drivers finally agreed to a $30 increase, but their monthly pay remains below the new minimum wage of $170.