Egypt train drivers' strike disrupts rail traffic countrywide

Ahram Online, Monday 9 Apr 2012

Train drivers stage sit-in at Cairo's central station to demand financial perks, disrupting rail traffic across Egypt

Ramses Railway Station-Large
Cairo Railway Station (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian train drivers staged a sit-in protest in Bab Al-Hadid station (Cairo's central train station) on Monday, bringing rail traffic across the country to a halt for more than seven hours.

Striking train drivers are demanding an additional allowance for working on Saturdays, bonus increases and risk allowances.

On Monday evening, protesters temporarily called off their sit-in after being attacked by local street vendors. Protest leaders, however, have vowed to resume their strike action until all of their grievances are addressed.

Striking train drivers reportedly rejected an offer by Egyptian Railway Authority (ERA) officials for an LE100 additional allowance, opting instead to hold out for all their demands. They have urged ERA officials to address their grievances just as the Egyptian Company for Metro Stations has recently conceded to the demands of its employees.

Sit-in organisers stress that they only called for the labour action after all other attempts to realise their demands had met with failure.

ERA Human Resources Director Hussein Zakariya, for his part, said that he had agreed with striking workers to reactivate all rail traffic before opening talks about employees' demands.

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