Sat February 19, 2011
Middle East

Egypt's Suez Now Faces Labor Unrest

One of Egypt's major industrial towns has gone from revolution to labor unrest. Dozens of factories in Suez are facing action from disgruntled workers, ranging from lists of demands to full-scale strikes. Some analysts say the turmoil is just an adjustment after the Mubarak era, when factory owners were able to pay low wages while flouting health and safety laws. Suez is a major industrial center, with petrochemicals and heavy industry, such as steel mills, so any long-term disruptions there could be very costly to Egypt's economy. The unrest is also causing anxiety for Suez's young people, worried about high unemployment, and minorities, whose lives are more vulnerable during unstable times.