Cairo's bus drivers threaten general strike on Wednesday

Marwa Hussein, Tuesday 20 Sep 2011

Public transport employees threaten to ground all buses on Wednesday if an official decision about bonuses is not issued by the end of today

strike
Some of the transportation employees have been on strike since Sunday 18 September. (Photo by Mai Shaheen)

Sixty two thousand public transport workers in the greater Cairo area who serve a population of close to 20 million have threatened to strike on Wednesday if administration promises on paying worker benefits are not kept.

After a meeting between workers' representatives and the administration of the Public Transport Authority, the latter's president, Mona Moustafa, announced that the Central Authority for Organisation and Administration had approved an increase of 200 per cent for worker's bonuses.
 
The government previously said all public employees would benefit from such an increase, before excluding some groups -- public transportation workers among them.
 
Some employees have been on strike since Sunday 18 September but said they will suspend it if an official decision is issued today. They have threated to enlarge their strike on Wednesday if a statement is not forthcoming.
 
Only one out of 22 public transport garages in Cairo's neighbourhood of Mazalat is currently on strike, with workers at other garages choosing to wait for the result of today’s negotiations. 
 
Public transportation workers are calling for pay raises and other financial incentives in order to hit LE1200 mark which is considered by most economists a minimum amount necessary for basic survival in Egypt.
 
Despite the strike, transport services have not been seriously affected so far as thousands of independent mini and micro-bus drivers continue to offer alternative rides for travellers.
Short link: