Maspero workers protest poor working conditions

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Workers belonging to the National Media Authority gathered in the main building of the Radio and Television Union, Maspero, to protest working conditions, low wages, and to demand their financial dues, which have been in arrears since 2017. The workers demanded the resignation of the head of the Authority, Hussein Zain.

The security presence was tightened outside the Maspero headquarters, fearing that the demonstrators, whose protest lasted for more than two hours, would take to the streets. Security men in civilian clothes tried to arrest one of the participants, who was shouting whilst sitting on the shoulders of a colleague, but the attempt failed because of his colleagues defended him.

Doria Sharaf El-Din, the head of the Media and Culture Committee in the House of Representatives, tried to calm the demonstrators, but they refused her intervention and demanded that she leave. New decisions issued a few days ago required the employees to work six days a week for seven hours a day.

One of the protesting workers said that the workers have no objection to the implementation of any new decisions, but in return they are asking for their overdue payments. One of the workers also said that the state approved two bonuses for all workers in its institutions, while Maspero officials have so far ignored these bonuses.

One of the participants in the demonstration added that the aim of these decisions is to push the largest possible number of workers to leave their jobs. This has already begun, with many of them submitting resignations and taking unpaid leave since last September, when verbal instructions with the same content as the recent decisions began to be issued informally.

The protesters also considered that the standard of living for workers has deteriorated, noting that annual bonuses have completely stopped since 2014, which led to a freeze on the basic wage.