Labor Unions Join Egypt Protests

Thousands more join demonstrations
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 9, 2011 6:47 PM CST
Anti-government protesters hold candles as they walk past Egyptian Army tanks at Tahrir Square.   (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
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(Newser) – Thousands of workers went on strike today across Egypt, adding a new dimension to the uprising on its 16th day. In addition to Tahrir Square, protesters gathered at parliament, the Cabinet, and the Health Ministry buildings, and blocked Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq from his office. Strikes erupted in a breadth of sectors—among railway and bus workers, state electricity staff and service technicians at the Suez Canal, in factories manufacturing textiles, steel and beverages, and at least one hospital.

Workers "were motivated to strike when they heard about how many billions the Mubarak family was worth," said one labor leader. "They said: 'How much longer should we be silent?'" Egyptians have been infuriated by newspaper reports that the Mubarak family has amassed billions, and perhaps tens of billions of dollars in wealth.

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