Telecom Egypt to pay employees LE51 million in bonuses, strikes continue

Ahram Online, Monday 24 Oct 2011

Landline monopoly announces one-off gifts to mark the Eid Al-Adha holiday as management and workers come close to an agreement on the release of imprisoned colleagues

Telecom Egypt
Bonuses amid negotiations: Telecom Egypt premises in Cairo (Photo: Mai Shaheen)

Telecom Egypt will pay its employees a combined LE51 million (US$8.5m) in bonuses to mark the Eid Al-Adha festival, according to a report from MENA news agency.

Staff at the country's landline monopoly have been carrying out limited strikes against the firm's management for the last 10 days.
Telecom Egypt, which employs around 50,000 people, is reported to be giving all workers one-off bonus payments equivalent to a month and a half's salary in advance of the Islamic holiday in early November. 
The combined outlay is LE20 million greater than the total paid to employees to mark Eid Al-Adha last year.
In mid-October, Telecom Egypt employees began limited strikes to demand the company drop charges against five of their colleagues as well as the resignation of top management which they accuse of corruption.
“This bonus is normal and it has nothing to do with our protest,” said Mohamed Helmy, head of the company's workers syndicate in Cairo.
Helmy added it is possible a breakthrough in the dispute between workers and TE management will be reached today with the signing of an agreement to release five employees. The workers currently stand accused of the attempted murder of the firm's chief executive Mohamed Abdel Rehim after they held him hostage on company premises for 21 hours.
“We are progressing at a slow pace but our problems are being addressed by the cabinet which is a major step forward,” Helmy said.
Egypt's minister of communication, Mohamed Salem, said on Sunday that he is devoting a portion of his time to solving the workers’ problems and urged anyone who has proof of corruption to present it to his ministry or other authorities.
Some TE workers are planning to stage a protest Tuesday morning in front of Egypt’s Smart Village in Giza, the epicentre of the country's IT and communications industry.
Telecom Egypt said earlier this week that the ongoing strikes have had no effect on its operations. The firm provides 70 per cent of the country's internet and is the sole provider of international phone services.
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