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Egypt Food Manufacturer Closes Business After Workers Protest

By Salma El Wardany
February 20, 2013 12:20 PM EST

Faragalla Group, an Egyptian food producer, said it shut down its factories yesterday after workers stormed the complex to demand higher pay.

The plants, located near Alexandria, halted production after they were raided by more than 200 workers, some of them carrying swords, Chairman Mohamed Farag Amer said by phone today. Workers had been protesting for a week, he added. Faragalla employs more than 10,000 workers, and its revenue is around 3 billion Egyptian pounds ($446 million) a year, he said.

The company’s action follows a similar decision by textile producer Arab Polvara in November after it couldn’t resolve a pay dispute with workers, highlighting the lack of security two years after the 2011 uprising. At the Suez Canal entrance of Port Said, hundreds of protesters gathered for a fourth day seeking to enforce a work stoppage, cutting roads and preventing workers from reaching the area.

“We won’t open until the government provides security, support and protection to businessmen” Amer said “We won’t come back unless security and stability is restored.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Salma El Wardany in Cairo at selwardany@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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