Around 4000 workers at Cleopatra Ceramics’ factory in Ain Sokhna have been protesting in front of Suez governorate’s headquarters since the factory's operations were halted last week. They are demanding a resumption of work.
Workers at the factory accuse Egypt’s prominent businessman Mohamed Abul-Einein Cleopatra Ceramics’ Chairman of interrupting work.
“Abul-Einein ordered the factory’s buses to stop transporting workers from and to the factory,” Ahmed Salah the vice head of the syndicate committee of the factory said.
Salah explained that the 6000 workers living in different provinces were not able to reach the factory without the buses, given the expense of public transport.
“The highest band of workers’ salaries ranges between LE1100 and LE1700, which does not allow for spending LE12-LE40 per day on transportation,” he told Ahram Online.
According to the workers, Abul-Einein's motives in halting the factory's work are unknown. Ahram Online tried to learn the story from the Chairman but he did not answer the calls.
“We have reported the case to the Attorney General, Parliament’s speaker and the Prime Minister and we are waiting the reactions,” Salah said.
In March, around 4000 workers at the factory initiated a strike demanding salary increases, bonus payments and a share of company profits.
Established in 1983, Cleopatra Ceramics says it has a presence in more than 100 world markets. Its factory in Ain Sokhna is one of the largest ceramics plants in the Middle East.
Abul-Einein was a member of ousted president Hosni Mubarak’s now-defunct National Democratic Party. Following last year's uprising he was summoned for questioning in a number of corruption cases but no charges were brought against him.