TE workers' protest on 18 October, 2011 (Photo: Mai Shaheen)
The head of the independent workers union of Telecom Egypt, Mohamed Abu Karish, says that the crisis sparked by the imprisonment of five workers accused of detaining the company’s president should end with their release in a few days.
“We are currently negotiating with the leadership of the company, headed by engineer Mohammed Abdul Rahim, to reach an appropriate legal formula to resolve this problem amicably,” said Abu Karish.
Several hundred Telecom Egypt (TE) employees protested on Saturday morning in front of the general attorney’s office to show solidarity with their imprisoned colleagues and demand their release.
The demonstrators said reports that TE workers were threatening to disconnect internet and communication services were false, and spread to undermine their cause.
Though demonstrators have a variety of demands, the main one centre around cleansing corruption from the company as well as removing remnants of the former regime.
Abu Karish revealed that a delegation of lawyers representing the imprisoned workers and their families met the General Attorney who assured them that efforts are being made to broker a solution.
He said a meeting would be held in his office between the employees’ legal team and a representative of the company’s chief executive.
Another meeting was held between the imprisoned workers’ defence team and Mohamed Abdel-Rehim in his office in Cairo’s Smart Village, on the edge of the capital.
The lawyers asked the chief executive to approve a memorandum to the prosecutor-general Attorney, expressing doubts that the five arrested workers actually detained him.
Abdel Rahim gave his consent, and the employees’ lawyers and the company lawyer tried to find a suitable legal formula for the memorandum.
“But after a six and half-hour meeting the following day, they couldn’t reach a deal,” said Abu-Karish.
He expressed hopes that a satisfying formula could be reached within the next two days.