Hundreds of journalists and workers at Egypt’s state-owned Al-Ahram and Rose Al-Youssef newspapers on Tuesday staged protests against corruption in their respective institutions. They also called for improvement of their financial circumstances.
Al-Ahram employees demanded the resignation of Chairman Abdel-Moneim Saeed and Chief Editor Ossama Saraya, whom they held responsible for “continuing corruption” within the institution.
Protesters shouted slogans similar to those now being heard in Tahrir Square, saying they would continue to demonstrate until their demands were met.
Rose Al-Youssef employees, for their part, demanded the resignation of Chairman Karam Gabr and Chief Editor Abdallah Kamal, whom they held responsible for institutional mismanagement and deteriorating levels of professionalism. They claimed that employees who were loyal to the upper management received higher salaries than other employees.
Protesters requested that the newspaper be managed by prominent journalists–such as Ibrahim Issa, Adel Hammouda or Wael el-Abrashi–in order to return to its “golden age.”
They also said that health-care services for employees were inadequate, and that trade union representatives did not safeguard employees' rights, since they were paid and accorded privileges to keep quiet. Protesters also issued a statement expressing their "shame for belonging to this institution.”
“I have been working here for 11 years. My salary is LE400, and I have two daughters,” said Hosni Abdel Khaleq, who works in the Rose Al-Youssef print shop. “I don't enjoy health care or any other privileges.”
Ramadan Hassan, a clerk, held upper management responsible for the financial losses incurred by newspaper.
Trade union representative Talaat Mansy, meanwhile, called on protesting employees to "preserve" the institution. “It belongs to them, not the management,” Mansy said.