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Egyptian Cigarette Maker Restarts Production as Strike Ends

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Eastern Tobacco, Egypt’s monopoly cigarette maker, resumed production after reaching agreement with workers who had been on strike for two days, Fatma Ramadan of the Egyptian trade union federation said in a phone interview.

The agreement was confirmed by a company official, who requested anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to disclose the details publicly. The signing of the accord was attended by government representatives, he said.

“Factories in all our branches are now back in operation as we have reached an agreement to fulfill workers’ demands,” the official said. Ramadan, who heads the union federation’s strike committee, said she had yet to see the text of the agreement.

Production at Eastern Tobacco was halted yesterday because of the strike, the company said in an e-mailed statement to the bourse.

One of the workers’ main demands is the resignation of Nabeel Abdel Aziz, Eastern Tobacco’s chairman, according to an e-mailed statement by the union federation. Eastern Tobacco’s holding company hasn’t yet made a statement on that.

The workers also sought increased bonuses, to be paid in one installment at the start of the year rather than in three, permanent jobs for temporary workers and improved working conditions, the federation said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nadine Marroushi in Cairo at nmarroushi@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net

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