Universal Appliances workers strike despite security pressure

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Workers of Universal Appliances resumed their strike on Sunday protesting the deterioration of their living conditions after one of their colleagues, Assem Afifi, committed suicide due to the accumulation of debts.

The workers started their strike last Tuesday, but their protests were dispersed by the Central Security forces, who used tear gas and arrested four workers.

The workers were given leave for Wednesday and Thursday along with the usual weekend of Friday and Saturday to suppress their protests, but they resumed protests once they came back to work.

A trade unionist, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Egypt Watch that the strike was resumed after failure of negotiations mediated by the Manpower Ministry, and that the ministry withdrew from the crisis while the workers expect the owner, Yousri Qutb, to liquify the company.

According to the trade union, the striking workers are demanding the disbursement of financial arrears in one payment. “Our arrears involve our salary for January and half of December as well as three previous months for engineers, security personnel and administrative workers,” said the trade unionist. “There are other arrears, including seven months of production bonus, which are essentially a part of the salary cut off by the owner and put as a bonus to evade it.”