Metro workers union: We will strike again if workers are interrogated

The Independent Trade Union for Metro Workers threatened Saturday to organize a new strike if the Public Prosecution summoned any metro workers for interrogation over the strike that took place in Cairo Wednesday.

The union said in a statement that the Public Prosecution has already summoned 10 Metro for interrogation next Monday to investigate reports accusing them of inciting the strike and disrupting a vital facility.

The Cairo metro’s 6,000 workers had gone on a strike that lasted for six hours from the early hours of Wednesday morning until noon.

The strike prompted the Transportation Ministry to accept the resignation of Ali Hussein, chairperson of the metro’s board of directors, and transfer him to work in the ministry office.

 The strike caused enormous traffic jams on the streets of Cairo, especially that the nearly 3 million Cairo residents take the metro on a daily basis.

Articles 86 and 88 of the Penal Code, known as the laws criminalizing strikes, issued by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in March 2011, state that striking and disrupting production is punishable by imprisonment up to five years and a fine of LE200,000.

Refaat Arafat, chairman of the Independent Trade Union of Metro Workers, said today that the removal of the metro authority head is the only demand of the workers that was met, adding that other demands relating to improving metro maintenance and improving workers' wages have not been met yet.

According to Arafat, if negotiations between acting head of the metro authority Abdullah Fawzy and union leaders relating to interrogating metro workers fail, metro workers will stage another strike.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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