Egypt Watch

2,500 workers from Universal Group strike protesting non-disbursement of wages

Some 2,500 workers from Universal Group, a manufacturer of home appliances, in the industrial area of the 6th of October City, have gone on strike, protesting against the irregular disbursement of wages, cutting 50 per cent of their wages, non-disbursement of monthly bonuses, and arbitrary administration. The strike was launched after the failure of talks between labour representatives and the CEO with mediators from the Manpower Ministry.

According to the Popular Alliance Socialist Party, workers of the first shift refused to work until they had received their salaries, which have been delayed for three months. The CEO of Universal Group, Yousri Koutb, offered to disburse half of the monthly wage if they ended the strike and continued bargaining for the rest of dues, but the labourers refused.

Labour’s committee of PAS party pointed out that workers did not strike until they lost hope with the Manpower Ministry’s failure in convincing the company’s administration to disburse the labour dues, particularly after the administration deceived the governmental committee by taking them to another factory, where workers get their dues regularly. The Centre for Trade Unions and Workers’ Services added that the workers said that the administration delays their wages and slashes them, then the wages are disbursed in five or six installments over the month, as well as repeatedly firing the workers.

One of the company’s workers said that their outrage escalated until they decided to strike after one of the workers died of a heart attack because he had to work excessively in an additional job. Universal’s strike continues a series of workers’ protests in Egypt that escalated over the past months after the Covid-19 pandemic and the deterioration of the industrial sector in Egypt.