Saturday, April 3, 2010

Workers Protest for an Adequate Minimum Wage

Around 300 workers, employees and labor activists gathered outside the Council of Ministers in Downtown Cairo today - April 3 - where they protested in demand of an adequate monthly minimum wage - amounting to LE 1,200 (only $US 218.)

An Administrative Court ruling issued on Tuesday - March 30 - stipulated that the government must raise the monthly minimum wage in light of rising living expenses.

Workers and activists chanted for the implementation of this ruling, with the specification that the monthly minimum be raised to LE 1,200. They also chanted against privatization, lay-offs, the Mubarak regime, and against the corrupt policies of the yellow state-controlled Egyptian Trade Union Federation.

Slogans described the ETUF as being "a den of thieves" which engages in "public theft." Worker-activists called for the establishment of independent trade unions, along the lines of the Real Estate Tax Authority Employees' Union - the country's first free union since 1957.

Workers from the Mahalla Textile Company, the Tanta Flax Company, the Real Estate Tax Authority Employees' Union, the Public Transport Authority, the Egyptian Company for Telephone Units, postal workers and railway workers, amongst others, voiced their numerous grievances.

Similar protests are planned for April 6th and May 1st.

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