Qena sugar workers protest pay

Thousands of workers at four pivotal sugar factories are protesting their pay and working conditions, a leading labor advocacy NGO said in a statement Wednesday.

The Center for Trade Union and Workers Services said employees in Qena's Naga Hammadi, Deshna, Quos and Armant sugar plants declared a sit-in Wednesday demanding bonuses and a decrease in their working hours.

Workers have complained their share of annual profits is too low and that they only get one day off per week while employees at other state-owned factories get two.

Qena's plants contribute nearly half of the country's sugar production.

The demonstration comes the day after workers in another sugar factory in Hawamdiya, Giza launched a sit-in for the same demands.

The CTUWS statement said workers are also demanding a halt to arbitrary transfers of employees.

There have been several protests recently in response to labor leaders being transferred to remote factories, including two men who were reportedly sent to a location more than 60 km from their home plants.

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