Workers at a Lakah-owned company demand unpaid bonuses, raises

Workers at a company that manufactures electric lamps owned by prominent businessman Rami Lakah are demanding payment of unpaid bonuses–due since 2001–and salary increases.

The company's light-bulb factory in 10th of Ramadan City was self-managed by its workers from 2001 to 2005, after Lakah, a former MP, fled the country.

Lakah, the chairman of industrial and health-care conglomerate The Holding Company for Financial Investments (Lakah Group), fled Egypt in 2001 after accumulating debts estimated at between LE1.2 and LE2 billion.

Members of the company's trade union committee stressed the need to hold a meeting with Lakah in order to discuss the grievances of some 220 workers and look at ways to provide the raw materials needed to allow the factory to commence operations.

According to union committee head Saleh Nessim, Lakah has pledged to protect the interests of the workers who have kept the company operational over the course of the last five years while receiving only their basic salaries.

Nessim added that workers were insistent on receiving salary raises and unpaid bonuses and demand the same financial treatment as their counterparts at other Lakah-owned companies.

Egypt's public prosecutor dropped a court case filed against Lakah and his brother Michel after the two reached a settlement with creditor banks. Lakah returned to Egypt earlier this year.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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