STRIKES IN ANCIENT EGYPT A contemporary document recounted the first ever recorded labour strike, which occured in Deir el Medina, Ancient Egypt during the reign of Ramses III when workers did not receive their rations.
The sit-down strikes occurred in the 12th century BC, on the 21st day of the second month in the 29th year of the reign of the pharaoh Ramses III, while Ramses was fighting a series of wars and engaging in an extensive building campaign.
The strikers were hereditary craftsmen who worked on the tombs of the pharaohs, the vast complexes that to this day draw visitors from all over the world to the Valley of the Kings.
This papyrus was written by the scribe Amennakhte at Deir el Medina. It describes the workers' struggle, and the corruption which had spread throughout the administration.