• 07:53
  • Wednesday ,09 May 2012

BREAKING: Workers at steel plant block Cairo-Alex highway over wages


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Wednesday ,09 May 2012

BREAKING: Workers at steel plant block Cairo-Alex highway over wages

Two thousand workers at Beshay Steel factories blocked the Cairo-Alexandria desert highway early Tuesday demanding better pay, an Ahram Online journalist at the scene reported.

Around nine thousand workers at four steel factories in Sadat City, 50 km north-west of Cairo, have been striking on and off for some 35 days after continuous negotiations with the company's management failed.
"We want our wages to be similar to what workers of Ezz-Steel are paid," Hany Abdel-Hady, a member of the workers' syndicate told Ahram Online.
According to Abdel-Hady, workers at Ezz-Steel, the Middle East's largest steel maker, receive LE1,800 as a minimum monthly wage while workers at Beshay Steel only receive LE500.
"We also want allowances for meals, transportation and a complete restructuring of wages at the factory," Abdel-Hady explained.
He claimed that workers had not received any profit share for 19 years and that the company did not disburse salaries for the months of March and April.
An initial deal between workers and management was struck three weeks ago, but it failed to resolve the situation due to "the company's lack of desire to help the workers," according to several news reports on the issue.
Mediation efforts by officials from parliament and the army, including the head of the military police, Hamdy Badeen, did not satisfy workers or management.
Beshay Steel officials were unavailable for comment.
Workers intend to block the vital highway until their demands are met, according to Abdel-Hady.