Cairo metro workers suspend strike following victory

Ahram Online, Wednesday 14 Nov 2012

Underground metro drivers force the CEO to resign on Wednesday under pressure of an all out public transport strike

No metro services on Wednesday as drivers strike to demand better working conditions (Photo: Randa Ali)

The chairman of the underground metro authority has been forced to resign, following a one day protest and strike by the Cairo metro drivers and threats by bus drivers and railway workers to join in solidarity.

Cairo metro drivers shut train services as part of a strike Wednesday to demand the resignation of the operating company's chairman and his assistants, accusing them of corruption.

The strike began Tuesday with preliminary protests at three metro stations and has threatened to escalate on Wednesday if demands are not met.

In earlier statements the drivers have asserted that their strike is not for financial demands but out of necessity for better services and maintenance, accusing the managerial board of squandering state funds.

According to Al-Ahram Arabic news website the action left several passengers furious, some assaulted the protesting drivers. Traffic in and around Cairo has been clogged since early hours of Wednesday.

Ibrahim El-Sayed member of the assembly leading the metro's strike told Al-Ahram that when he went to check El Marg station to ensure that the strike is on, he was startled to find that passengers had broken the windows and doors of trains to object to the stoppage.

Minister of transportation stated on Wednesday that the chairman of the operating company, Aly Hussein, had been temporarily been replaced by the operating company's head of central control room. But the strikers refused the minister's move, demanding full impeachment of the chairman and holding him accountable.

According to a labour leader in the railway authority, Hussein resignation came in response to threats that were issued by railways and public transportation drivers to go on strike by noon if demands of their fellow colleagues at the Metro were not met.

The transport sector has been the scene of repeated strikes in the past months, with Metro and bus drivers striking over work conditions.

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