Thousands of Egypt’s Postal workers are continuing a strike over economic and political demands against the government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf for the second day in a row.
Postal workers in the governorates of Gharbiya, Qena, Ismailiya, Northern Sinai, Meniya, Sharqiya, Beni-Suwaif, El-Fayoum, Luxor and Aswan - which cover geographic districts from one end of the country to the other - have shut down 50% of Egypt's post offices since yesterday. Colleagues in the governorates of Alexandria and Kafr El-Sheikh are set to join the action tomorrow.
Workers are demanding that the government purge the publicly owned postal services of hundreds of that they consider corrupt managers as well as tens of highly paid consultants.
The workers are also demanding a 7% annual pay increase to keep up with inflation and a 200% bonus for meeting annual production goals.
The postal workers strike by was called last Friday by the newly formed Independent Union of Postal Workers.
Union delegates elected a strike committee composed of six rank-and-file representatives who cover various geographic districts in order to negotiate a settlement with government.
In the weeks after the fall of former dictator Mubarak, thousands of postal workers organized several strikes and protests to demand that the new government replace officials tied to the old regime. Workers also began a campaign to build new local and national unions to replace pro-Mubarak formations that they deemed pro-management.
The Egyptian government uses post offices not only to deliver regular mail services but also to distribute pension checks to millions of retirees.