Egypt Independent

Authorities threaten striking transport workers with dismissal



The Public Transport Authority

plans tol award workers who declined to take part in a four-day-old strike with a 10-day bonus, while threatening striking employees with dismissal.

Authority head Mona Mostafa told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Wednesday the bonus would reward workers for their "devotion."

Mostafa said warnings would be sent to the protesting employees. She cited the labor law which stipulates that a striking worker does not get payment for the days during which they are on strike.

Mostafa added that she had intervened for the release of Tarek al-Beheiry, spokesperson for the Independent Union of Transportation Workers, but said he would remain under interrogation. State-run news agency MENA had said that Beheiry was arrested Sunday and released on Monday.

The National Council for Human Rights demanded in a statement Wednesday that all necessary measures be adopted to protect freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.

State TV's website said workers at the authority's garages in Imbaba, Mezallat and Teraa regions had entered their fourth day on strike over unmet demands. One driver told Al-Masry Al-Youm on Wednesday that other garages planned to join in the demonstrations.

Ever since August 2009, some 45,000 Public Transport Authority employees have been demanding that they be merged under the authority of the Transportation Ministry, rather than Cairo Governorate. These employees have also asked for improved wages and working conditions, along with bonuses, healthcare, insurance plans and the purging of authority officials deemed to be corrupt, among other demands.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm