Egyptian workers leave the Misr spinning and weaving factory in Mahala, 120 kms north Cairo, after a day's work on April 8, 2014. (AFP PHOTO / MAHMOUD KHALED)
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Egypt's next president will have to contend with frustrated workers who have threatened a new wave of strikes if their demands are not met by an already cash-strapped government.Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi, the ex-army chief who overthrew Islamist President Mohammad Morsi last July and is hailed by supporters as a tough leader who can restore stability, is widely expected to win next month's election.But he is likely to face strident demands from the same labor leaders who organized a massive 2008 strike seen as a precursor to the 2011 uprising that ended autocrat Hosni Mubarak's three-decade rule.And with tourism and investment having largely dried up following three years of turmoil, it's unclear whether the government can meet their demands.Officials say the government wants to cut the deficit – burdened by fuel and food subsidies – to 10 percent and set up labor-intensive projects to address unemployment, which rose to around 14 percent last year from 9 before the 2011 revolt.
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