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Egypt Telecom employees will not disconnect phone and internet lines

Minister of communications stresses support for embattled management as Egypt Telecom workers roll back on threats to escalate protests over alleged squandering of company finances

Adel El-Lakkany, Thursday 20 Oct 2011
Telecom Egypt
Telecom Egypt employees (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

The Egyptian government has reaffirmed its support for Telecom Egypt’s embattled upper management after communication ministry officials met on Thursday with the firm's chief executive, chairman and vice presidents.

The statement of support from Mohamed Salem, Minister of Communications, came after TE employees escalated their protests requesting the removal of the company’s chiefs.

TE workers have said they have no intention of cutting off internet and telephone services, reversing an earlier threat they made. The independent syndicate said if this happened it would due to an outside element aiming to tarnish the image of their movement.

They also accused the BOD of squandering LE11 billion during 2010.

Another major demand for workers is the release of five of their colleagues who were arrested and accused of attempted murder after they held TE’s chief executive hostage for 21 hours.

The coalition said they intend to stage a protest in front of the prosecutor general’s office on Saturday to voice their demands.

In an attempt to answer some demands, the company announced it accelerated the wage restructuring process to be concluded by the end of 2011 instead of March 2012.

The company also said it had decreased the number of consultants, who are said to receive notoriously high compensation, from 20 consultants at the beginning of 2011 to 7 consultants currently.

Telecom Egypt, a public monopoly of fixed landlines, provides 70 per cent of the country's internet and is the sole provider of international phone services.

The company also owns  45 per cent of mobile phone operator Vodafone Egypt.

The firm realised total net profits of LE826 million ($138.8m) in the second quarter of 2011, down from LE971 million in the same period the year before, and 7.9 per cent less than in the year’s first quarter.

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