Since the issuance of the decision to apply minimum wage in Dec. 31, 2013, there has been a major crisis in applying the law, leading to the eruption of a number of strikes in critical industries and professions throughout Egypt.
Among the most vital of these is that of the Public Transportation Authority, which has caused a crisis in the streets, preventing many people from being able to reach their places of employment.
Employees of Cairo Public Transportation Authority have nonetheless continued their strike for the fourth day to demand minimum wage. They also demanded their compensations for risks and infections, as well as their seven percent bonuses, as stipulated in their contracts.
Head of the Cairo Public Transportation Authority Hisham Ateya emphasized that the total losses of a single day in the strike range between 600,000 to 800,000 EGP (U.S. $86,197 to 114,926).
Furthermore, Ateya told Youm7 that the salaries of all the workers who have continued working through the strike will be cashed, whereas striking workers will have the days of strike deducted from their salaries.
Ateya stated that the solution for the current crisis lies in the hands of the government, and not the Authority or the governorate.
However, Ateya’s statements have angered transportation employees, who remain insistent on receiving the minimum wage of 1,200 EGP (U.S. $172) that was promised to all governmental employees.
In an attempt to contain the situation, the Syndicate of Public Transportation Workers announced they are prepared to suspend the strike if half of their demands are met, and a timeline is set to meet the remaining demands.
On the other hand, the Supreme Committee of the Doctors’ Syndicate announced that their strike will begin on Wednesday, and that the partial strike will be resumed on March 8. It will last until doctors’ demands are responded to, as the strike is not related to the changeover of the government or the Minister of Health.
The supreme committee further declared, in an official statement, that there will be a partial strike on Wednesday in public hospitals, to protest the issuance of the new incentives law, in place of the previous law that stipulated salary levels for the different medical professions. Doctors will coordinate with the dentists and pharmacists in hospitals to see to it that their demands are met.
Further, nurses and employees in Nasser Institute Hospital began a strike demanding minimum wage, and the cleaning workers in North Giza and veterinarians are in their second day of striking.
Thousands of cleaning workers returned to work just last week, following a week-long open strike, demanding the implementation of the minimum wage promptly, without the decreasing of allowances.