Civil aviation minister criticizes calls for Cairo airport strike

Egypt’s Minister of Civil Aviation Ibrahim Manna on Monday criticized plans by Cairo International Airport employees to strike to demand better working conditions.

In a press statement, Manna said, "The air traffic controllers’ announcement about their intention to organize a strike and close off the airspace for four hours on Thursday is against the state’s best interest."

Air traffic control officers had threatened the strike in response to the reported intention of the Ministry of Civil Aviation to reduce their salaries after a new batch of traffic control officers were employed. Some were also against transfers to positions outside the airport.

Manna said, "There is a decision preventing strikes in public facilities, and the air traffic control officers have no right to organize such a strike."

Manna said the appointment of 59 new air traffic control officers would not affect the salaries of other officers. On Sunday, a number of airport security employees protested to demand a salary increase.

Manna said that committees within the Ministry of Civil Aviation were considering the demands. He went on to say that the periodic protests being organized by EgyptAir workers were unpatriotic, especially in light of the company's losses of LE1billion, in addition to the loans taken out to buy a number of new planes.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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