Cairo Bus Drivers (Photo by Mai Shaheen)
Over 2000 state-employed bus drivers and ticket collectors staged a demonstration on Thursday morning in front of the Public Transport Agency (PTA) in Cairo’s Nasr City district to demand better pay and working conditions.
Protesters say they have yet to be approached by government officials for negotiations. They also say that PTA Chief Mona Mostafa had reneged on earlier promises to approve 200 per cent salary increases for all public bus workers.
Workers at 20 bus depots throughout Cairo remained on strike on Thursday, leaving only four depots to service the entire capital. Striking workers vowed to maintain their collective action until their demands were met.
Drivers and other public transport workers are calling for a minimum salary of LE1200 per month, considered by most economists to be the minimum salary necessary for basic survival in Egypt. Most bus workers currently earn less than half that amount.
The bus workers’ strike began on Sunday at the El-Mazallat bus depot in Cairo’s Shubra district. By Wednesday, 19 other depots throughout Cairo had also joined the strike.