Thousands of workers have gone on strike at one of Egypt's largest textile mills to demand higher wages and more benefits.

The strike, which began on Sunday, involved more than 20,000 employees of the state-owned Misr Spinning and Weaving in the Nile Delta town of Mahalla el-Kubra.

According to local media reports, employees earn just EGP150 ($27) a month while the company posted a profit of EGP217m in the 2006/7 financial year. Rising inflation in the country has also led to soaring food prices.

The strike is the latest in a series of protests over the past year in Egypt.