BBC Egypt office commences third strike over fair pay

Habiba Hamdy , Monday 21 Aug 2023

The staff at BBC's Cairo Office began their third strike in three months on Monday over demands for fair pay.

Head of Egypt s Journalists syndicate Khaled El-Balshy with the BBC Cairo office on strike on Monday. Photo : Khaled El-Balshy


The strike is to run for 10 days with a possibility of extension should BBC’s management fail to arrive at a resolution, announced the office in an official statement published on the Head of Egypt's Syndicate of Journalists Khaled El-Balshy’s official Facebook page.

“BBC Cairo office staff reject the management’s unfair, discriminatory financial policies that put them far behind their colleagues in other BBC bureaus in the Middle East,” according to the statement. 

The office’s third strike came following a one-day strike on 14 June and a three-day strike in July.

According to the statement, the present strike follows the BBC management’s months-long insistence on turning a “blind eye” to the demands of the Cairo office and laying “our [BBC Cairo] cause to rest.”

BBC managers had held three meetings with El-Balshy, who expressed full support for the demands of the Cairo office, without presenting any serious proposals, said the Cairo Office staff in their statement. 

They added that they were receiving “meagre salaries” that do not compensate for the most recent devaluation of the Egyptian pound in March 2022.

The Cairo office further said the management's position exemplifies “systemic discrimination against Egyptian journalists in Cairo” since the BBC had “successively resolved similar crises that occurred in other bureaus in the region.”

The staff also reported that the BBC main office had deducted the previous strike days from their pay and that the managers had informed them that communication would be suspended during the strike.

Finally, the Cairo office affirmed that they remain open to dialogue should the BBC management put forward a “serious proposal that serves as the basis for negotiations.” 

Short link: