16 Sep 2012

Cairo's transport workers strike for reforms

Egypt saw a fresh wave of strikes on today as workers in the transport and education sectors downed tools to push for financial and administrative reform. In separate bouts of industrial action, workers at the Cairo Transportation Authority (CTA) and non-academic staff at universities across Egypt walked off the job.
Bus services ground to a halt at five garages in the capital while 22 others began partial strikes in an attempt to force the CTA to be attached to Egypt's Ministry of Transport – a move, workers say, that will boost their salaries and bonuses. Workers made the same demand during strikes in mid-2011, reaching a compromise agreement with CTA management. That, evidently, has not been enough.
"It is still the same. We want to be attached to the ministry of transportation to enjoy the public sector's pay raises," Ali Fatouh, a leader of the workers independent syndicate at the Cairo Transportation Authority (CTA) told Ahram Online. CTA workers have not received a 200 per cent pay increase granted to state workers last year, Fatouh claimed. Instead they have had a monthly LE200 rise.
Fatouh also complained that the government was ignoring their demands. "Nobody from the government contacted us. This is starting to look like Ahmed Nazif's government," he added, referring to a much-maligned prime minister from the Hosni Mubarak era.

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