Minister fails to persuade bus drivers to suspend strike

Minister of Manpower Ahmed Hassan al-Borai has failed to reach a compromise with the Public Transportation Authority's (PTA) bus drivers, who have been striking for the past five days.

Borai held talks on Saturday with the strikers at one of the PTA's garages in Shubra al-Mazallat. He asked the drivers to end their strike ahead of negotiations, but they refused.

Drivers confirmed they will continue to strike until all their demands are met.

PTA Vice President Hesham al-Atteyah refused all demands submitted by representatives of the striking drivers late on Saturday.

However, Borai told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he will consider all the PTA workers’ demands with Cairo's governor, the head of the PTA, and the drivers’ delegation on Monday in order to resolve the crisis.

The Monday meeting will focus on enhancing living standards of the workers, the minister added.

Mahmoud Zaher, member of the Public Transport Workers Independent Syndicate, said the syndicate and its drivers have refused to end the strike until a solution is reached.

“The minister came to negotiate with us using the carrot and stick principle. He demanded ending the strike before negotiations,” Zaher told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

Drivers have been striking since Wednesday to demand better wages, working conditions, health care and transportation services for the public.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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