International

In Egypt: 'Mini-Revolutions;' Labor Protests

Egyptian antiquities graduates protested in front of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo today (Feb. 14, 2011). They were among many groups demanding jobs, higher pay or better working conditions. i i

hide captionEgyptian antiquities graduates protested in front of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo today (Feb. 14, 2011). They were among many groups demanding jobs, higher pay or better working conditions.

Khalil Hamra/AP
Egyptian antiquities graduates protested in front of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo today (Feb. 14, 2011). They were among many groups demanding jobs, higher pay or better working conditions.

Egyptian antiquities graduates protested in front of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Cairo today (Feb. 14, 2011). They were among many groups demanding jobs, higher pay or better working conditions.

Khalil Hamra/AP

There have been "fragmented protests" in the streets of Cairo today, NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports, as people who have long been desperate for work or better pay start to express themselves and demand help from the interim, military-led government that has replaced the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

The military, Lourdes says, wants "to get the country back to normal, back to a sense of stability." But, the workers are "trying to get their own demands, their own voices, heard in their particular workplaces":

NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

A spokesman for the country's Military Council today issued a communique calling on labor groups to stand down because "these strikes, at this delicate time, lead to negative effects such as harming the security of the country which causes disruption in all institutions and facilities of the state."

Among the groups that have been out today demanding more jobs or better pay are police officers, antiquities students, bank tellers and transport and tourism workers.

The BBC's Jon Leyne, who's also in Cairo, says the workers are "staging their own mini-revolutions against their bosses. And there is no sign it's going to calm down any time soon."

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

Support comes from: