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Tuesday, 10 December 2019

UPDATE: Cairo-Alex highway reopens after steel plant workers end their blockade

Egyptian authorities convince Beshay Steel employees demanding higher wages to end their protest and clear the vital link between the capital and north coast

Yasmine Fathy, Ahmed Feteha, Tuesday 8 May 2012
Road Block
Workers started blocking the key highway road at 8 am (Photo: Yasmine Fathy)
Views: 1791
Views: 1791

The Cairo-Alexandria desert highway is open again for traffic after protesting workers from Beshay Steel plants ended their several-hour blockade of the road, according to Ahram's Arabic-language portal.

A source in Cairo's general traffic department told Ahram that army and police authorities had persuaded the workers to clear the road.
Earlier on Tuesday, 2,000 workers from Beshay Steel factories blocked the key Cairo-Alexandria highway to demand better pay.
Around 9,000 workers at four steel factories in Sadat City, 50 km northwest of Cairo, have held sporadic strikes for the last month after negotiations with the company's management stalled.
"We want our wages to be similar to what workers of Ezz-Steel are paid," Hany Abdel-Hady, a member of the workers' syndicate told Ahram Online.
According to Abdel-Hady, workers at Ezz-Steel, the Middle East's largest steel maker, receive LE1,800 as a minimum monthly wage while workers at Beshay Steel only receive LE500.
"We also want allowances for meals, transportation and a complete restructuring of wages at the factory," Abdel-Hady explained.
He claimed that workers had not received any profit share for 19 years and that the company did not disburse salaries for the months of March and April.
An initial deal between workers and management was struck three weeks ago, but it failed to resolve the situation due to "the company's lack of desire to help the workers," according to several news reports on the issue.
Mediation efforts by officials from parliament and the army, including the head of the military police, Hamdy Badeen, did not satisfy workers or management.
Beshay Steel officials were unavailable for comment.
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