Labor protests escalate in Cairo and other governorates

Labor strikes and other single-issue protests continued across Egypt on Monday, with students and employees from various state-run bodies demanding institutional changes and improvements in working conditions.

Workers from the High Dam Electrical and Industrial Company staged protests before the Council of Ministers in Cairo, demanding better wages. Meanwhile, law school graduates demonstrated before the Supreme Court, protesting against nepotism within the judicial system.

Workers of the General Electrical Projects Company also staged protests, requesting the Ministry of Electricity cancel the privatization of the company and retain its ownership. In Alexandria, 500 workers from 36 state-owned bakeries held demonstrations to demand better wages.

In Beheira, residents of Edku blocked the village highway in protest at the government fencing off some 125 acres of land with barbed wire, in preparation for its allocation to British Petroleum for the construction of a gas facility. The armed forces removed the wire from the site, after which the residents assaulted the headquarters of the company. The residents say the factory is hazardous to the environment.

Meanwhile, in several other governorates, Egypt Post employees continued their strike, and refused to disburse pensions to the senior citizens who were queueing outside post office branches. Assistant Finance Minister for Social Security Mohamed Moeit said the money has already been transferred to Egypt Post for dibursal. “It is too late for us to provide alternative means to disburse that money,” he said.

He added that Egypt Post officials told him they would send mobile ATM machines to the locations where strikes are taking place in order to help pensioners draw their pensions. “This is too risky, as the money could be stolen, given the lack of security in the streets,” he warned.

The Egypt Post employees are demanding the resignation of their chairman and the transformation of the postal authority into a financial institution rather than a service provider. Other demands included better salaries and bonuses, and the establishment of Saturday as a paid holiday like in other government institutions.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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