US embassy cable - 85ALEXANDRIA547

MORE ON LABOR STRIKE IN ALEXANDRIA

Identifier: 85ALEXANDRIA547
Wikileaks: View 85ALEXANDRIA547 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Alexandria
Created: 1985-07-02 11:26:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PGOV PINS ELAB EG
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
R 021126Z JUL 85
FM AMCONSUL ALEXANDRIA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 5370
INFO AMEMBASSY CAIRO
C O N F I D E N T I A L ALEXANDRIA 00547 
 
DEPT FOR S/IL AND NEA/RA - HOLLY 
DEPT PLS PASS DEPT OF LABOR 
 
E.O. 12356: DECL: OADR 
TAGS: PGOV, PINS, ELAB, EG 
SUBJECT:  MORE ON LABOR STRIKE IN ALEXANDRIA 
 
REF:  ALEXANDRIA 524 
 
1.  (CONFIDENTIAL - ENTIRE TEXT.) 
 
2.  SINCE SUBMISSION OF REFTEL, ANOTHER LOCAL SECURITY 
OFFICIAL HAS CONFIRMED TO US THAT A LABOR STRIKE OCCURRED 
IN MID-JUNE AT THE NEARBY ABU KIR ENGINEERING INDUSTRIES 
FACTORY, RESULTING IN AUTHORITIES' CLOSING IT FOR TWO 
DAYS--JUNE 19-20.  THE OFFICIAL CONFIRMED THAT POLICE 
INTERVENED TO BREAK UP THE STRIKE, BUT LIKE THE SECURITY 
CONTACT CITED IN REFTEL, SAID HE KNEW NOTHING OF ARRESTS 
OR INJURIES.  INTERESTINGLY, THE LATTER SOURCE INDICATED 
THAT CONTRARY TO OUR UNDERSTANDING, THE ABU KIR FACTORY 
IS RUN BY THE MILITARY, ALTHOUGH THE WORKERS ARE 
CIVILIAN.  WHILE DENYING THE OCCURRENCE OF A SECOND 
STRIKE, AT THE MOHARREM BEY DEFENSE PLANT, HE DID SAY 
THAT, AS PRECAUTIONARY MEASURE, FOLLOWING THE ABU KIR 
INCIDENT, SECURITY POLICE WERE DEPLOYED AROUND THE 
MOHARREM BEY FACILITY. 
 
3.  IN ADDITION TO THE NATIONAL PROGRESSIVE UNIONIST 
GROUPING PARTY'S WEEKLY, AL-AHALI, ANOTHER OPPOSITION 
JOURNAL, THE SOCIALIST LABOR PARTY'S ASH-SHAAB, ALSO 
REPORTED ON ALEXANDRIA'S LABOR TROUBLE.  ACCORDING TO 
ASH-SHAAB, IT WAS AT THE INSTRUCTION OF THE GOE'S 
MINISTER OF STATE FOR MILITARY PRODUCTION, GAMAL IBRAHIM, 
THAT THE ABU KIR PLANT WAS CLOSED FOR TWO DAYS, IN 
REACTION TO THE STRIKE OVER NON-PAYMENT OF WORKERS' 
BONUSES. 
- 
4.  WITH OUR SECURITY SOURCES REPORTING THAT ALL IS NOW 
BACK TO NORMAL AT THE ABU KIR FACTORY, THE OPPOSITION 
PRESS ALSO SEEMS TO CONSIDER THE MATTER CLOSED:  NEITHER 
ASH-SHAAB NOR AL-AHALI CONTAINED A FOLLOW-UP STORY ON 
THE INCIDENT IN THEIR LATEST EDITIONS, JUNE 25 AND 26, 
RESPECTIVELY. 
 
5.  COMMENT:  THE INCIDENT AT THE ABU KIR FACTORY SEEMS 
TO FIT THE PATTERN OF THE FEW LABOR STRIKES THAT OCCUR 
IN EGYPT:  A BRIEF FLARE-UP OF WORKER UNREST, CONFINED 
TO A SPECIFIC FACTORY, AND FOCUSED ON BREAD-AND-BUTTER 
ISSUES.  WHAT IS NOT TYPICAL ABOUT THIS STRIKE IS THAT 
IT APPARENTLY INVOLVED THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY, WHICH WOULD 
ACCOUNT FOR THE B BWPID RESPONSE BY THE AUTHORITIES--AT 
BOTH THE ABU KIR AND MOHARREM BEY SITES.  END COMMENT. 
 
 
COOK 

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