Minister fails to resolve flax workers’ sit-in

Manpower Minister Aisha Abdel Hadi on Thursday failed to resolve an ongoing sit-in organized by employees of the Tanta Flax and Oils Company, with workers rejecting a number of proposals relayed to them by the minister’s assistant.

The workers–who have been protesting for 11 consecutive days outside the Egyptian Council of Ministers’ Cairo headquarters–complain that the government sold the company to Saudi Arabian investor Abdel Illah el-Kaaki, who subsequently laid them off.

Abdel Hadi offered to pay workers their January and February salaries and provide them with early retirement schemes. She also promised to negotiate with el-Kaaki to find suitable financial compensation for dismissed workers.

Protesters, however, rejected the suggestions, requesting that the minister come speak with them in person.

According to ministry sources, Abdel Hadi hopes to resolve the problem before next Monday, when parliament is scheduled to discuss the issue. The same sources predict that the minister–and the government in general–would be subject to heavy criticism at the parliamentary session for failing to resolve the impasse.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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