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Flight Attendants Win Concessions as Strike Grounds EgyptAir for a Time
September 11, 2012

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A workers strike grounded most of Egypt's national airline for most of a day, resulting in the grounding or delay of hundreds of flights.

Both flight attendants and baggage handlers were involved. Among the demands by flight attendants were a call for hiring, an increase in employee insurance coverage, and a removal of the ban on wearing veils. Most Islamic women in Egypt wear the Islamic veil in public. However, during the rule of former President Hosni Mubarak, wearing the veil was not allowed. Since the election of new President Mohamed Morsi, TV presenters have been allowed to wear veils on the air.

EgyptAir baggage handlers introduced a work slowdown to support their flight attendant colleagues. As a result, the company estimates that it lost up to $30 million in revenue from uncompleted international flights. Domestic flights were not affected.

After less than a day, EgyptAir planes were all back in the air, along with an agreement to hire 250 new flight attendants.

It was the latest in a series of hardships for the national airline, which has suffered greatly from a steep drop in tourism in the wake of the revolution that ousted Mubarak from power.

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