Suez Cement Group trade unionists attacked by thugs

Yassin Gaber, Tuesday 15 Mar 2011

Trade unionists protesting the Suez Group for Cement's policy on profit sharing are denied entry into the company's annual general assembly as thugs brutally descend on their delegation

Trade unionists from the Suez Group for Cement were attacked by thugs at the Airport Sheraton Hotel after trying to attend the company’s general assembly, which typically consists of the board of directors, the company’s trade union and government representatives.

"Thugs the size of door frames grabbed me and broke my leg,” shouted Mohamed Abdel Monsef, head of the trade union.

Abdel Monsef claimed that Omar Mehana, board director of the Seuz Group for Cement, hired the thugs who attacked the delegation, denying them entry into the hall were the assembly was gathering.  

The company’s general assembly meets annually to discuss financial reports and company earnings among other matters. By law, workers are allotted ten per cent of company revenues. Today, when the board announced that it would not grant its workers their profit shares, the trade unionists began protesting the decision, but were denied entry into the hall.

Ramadan Omar, general-secretary of the Suez Group trade union, stated: “After being denied entry into the assembly, we will return to the company’s headquarters in Torah and continue our sit-in.”

The goal of the sit-in, according to Omar, will not be to disrupt the company’s production but to deny the board entry into company headquarters.

Suez Group, one of the largest cement producers in Egypt, is comprised of several companies with production facilities in Suez, Torah, Kattameyya, Helwan and El-Minya. The company which employs more than 3,000 workers was bought out by an Italian cement company called Italcementi Group in 2005.

Abdel Monsef stated that “Torah Cement and El-Mahla Textiles were the first companies to organise strikes in 2005, opposed to company policies on profit-sharing.”

A press conference will be held tomorrow at 10:00am at the Torah Cement factory to state the demands of the trade union, namely the renationalisation of the company.

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