Ancient Egyptians Go on Strike

First recorded workers strike took place in Thebes, Egypt in 1700 BCE by pyramid-building workers organizing a work stoppage following 18 days beyond their payday, as supervisors denied pay due to Ramses III jubilee festival. Workers protested the wage reduction as a result of economic unrest.

      1700 BCE
      Thebes. Egypt

Additional Information:

  • The First Recorded Labor Strike in History – The Vintage News
    The use of strikes has been around since 1159 BC when the workers of Egypt’s King Ramses III, who were not being paid as promised, sat down and refused to work. According to, a papyrus written by the Egyptian scribe Amennakht at Deir el Medina records the strike on an almost day to day basis.Dec 23, 2018
  • The First Labor Strike in History – Ancient History Encyclopedia
    Jul 4, 2017 – The most important cultural value in ancient Egypt was harmony; … Again the workers went on strike, this time taking over and blocking all …
  • Today in labor history: First recorded strike in Egypt, maybe ever
    Nov 23, 2015 – In about the 25th year of the reign of Ramses III, in 1170 BCE, the laborers were so exasperated by delays in supplies they threw down their tools and walked off the job in what comes down to us as the first sit-down strike in recorded history. They wrote a letter to the vizier complaining about lack of wheat rations.
  • The first recorded strike occurred in Egypt in 1152 BC | Troy …
    During the reign of Pharaoh Rameses III, a small group royal tomb workers in Egypt did the unthinkable: they went on strike for better pay.
  • When Was The First Strike In History? – HistoryExtra
    Mar 11, 2016 – The first documented strike in history is thought to be that held by the craftsmen working on the royal necopolis at Deir el-Medina, in the mid-12th century BC. Although slaves were carrying out much of the work on Ancient Egyptian structures, many paid builders and craftsmen were brought in to make up the workforce.

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