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Egypt strike leaves Suez port in 'total standstill'

Ain al-Sokhna port workers demand the return of eight fired colleagues.

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This screenshot from Egyptian TV shows massive crowds protesting in the Nile Delta city Mahalla, where thousands of textile workers went on strike on July 19, 2012. (Screengrab)

A strike at an Egyptian Suez Canal port today left Cairo's main cargo transport point "at a total standstill," a union representative told Reuters

Daily News Egypt cited Suez state security head, General Adel Refaat, as saying Friday that nearly 2,700 workers are protesting the firing of eight fellow port workers. 

Today's full strike follows three days of smaller labor protests over the issue, said Reuters.

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"Loading and unloading in the port are at a total standstill," union spokesperson Ashraf Eissa told Reuters

The Ain al-Sokhna port, which is operated by Dubai-based DP World, is locaed at the Canal southern tip, said Reuters. Ships have been forced to reroute to other Egyptian ports, according to Daily News Egypt.

DP World issued a statement today saying the company is "working to resolve the issues appropriately as soon as possible," according to Reuters

DP World was forced to briefly close the port in February due to workers' unrest, said Reuters.  

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/egypt/121013/egypt-strike-leaves-suez-port-total-standstill