Close to 500 workers at the Pirelli Tires factory in Alexandria say they are planning to come to Cairo on Tuesday in order to march to the presidential palace in Heliopolis and demand a meeting with President Mohamed Morsy. The workers have been in a month-long dispute with the company’s Italian administration.
The workers are demanding the rehiring of employees who they claim were fired without reason, the renegotiation of their salaries and the disbursement of 10 percent of the company’s profits among the workers.
Egypt’s Federation of Independent Trade Unions said in a statement on Monday that it would run an international campaign in solidarity with Pirelli’s workers, especially in countries where the company has branches, such as Brazil and Argentina.
Also on Monday labor federations in France and Switzerland voiced their support for Pirelli’s Egyptian employees.
Ashraf al-Gazzar, a labor leader at the company, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that a five-man delegation has been named to meet with the president, while the rest of workers would wait in the palace’s yard. He added that earlier demands submitted to the company, the Manpower Ministry and the Italian consulate in Alexandria have all been ignored, which encouraged the company to further “humiliate” the workers, he said.
Gazzar stressed that 1,200 company workers will continue their strike and sit-in outside the Italian consulate until their demands are met.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm