Dismissals and investigations with the workers on top of Maspero Media Protests

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The administration of the National Media Authority issued a decision to terminate the service of Safaa El-Korbagy, the Journalist in the Radio & Television Magazine after the protests of the Authority’s workers that started three months ago. The dismissal of El-Korbagy is due to its role in encouraging workers to continue the protests through broadcasting videos on its page and on the workers’ pages on Facebook.

All of this comes in the context of decisions started a month and a half ago to punish the protesters. The decisions included dozens who were referred to interrogation. The workers have faced several repetitive accusations including the disruption of work, disturbing social peace, demonstrations and raising banners. The decisions were followed by penalties included.

The deduction of part of the monthly wage, and other oral decisions to prevent entry to Maspero building. The most prominent of which was what happened with the anchor of the Egyptian Second Channel, Hala Fahmy, who said that she was prohibited from entering the building because of her insistence on a sit-in inside the building to protest the mismanagement of Hussein Zein, head of National Media Authority. One of the workers participating in the protests said that he was referred for interrogation yesterday as part of a new batch of about thirty workers, who were referred for interrogation, and were accused of chanting slogans.

The penalties, threats, referral for interrogation and preventing from entering Maspero led to a tangible decrease in the number of protesters, especially under the administrative decisions that prevent the entry into the building except in case of proof of carrying out a specific work task, according to a female worker in the Radio Engineering Sector. In a related context, the Occupational Safety and Health Committee renewed its previous decision to decrease the numbers of the workers inside Maspero, Although the Ministry of Health announced a few days ago the end of the fifth wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. the decision that is seen as an attempt to reduce the number of participants in the protests.

Since January, thousands of Maspero workers have demonstrated against their working conditions and the low levels of wages. They demanded to get their overdue financial dues since 2017, which includes 24 bonuses and 54 incentives per month, estimated at a minimum of 14 thousand pounds for each worker. They also demanded the resignation of the president of the Authority, Hussein El-Zein.

The demonstrations come after new decisions issued to obligate the Authority’s workers to attend six days a week, seven hours a day, which contradicts with the attempts of most of the workers to work for extra jobs because of the low wage level and to improve theirs living conditions. However, the new orders were ineffective, practically, because of the demonstrations, but it continued to claim their overdue financial dues in addition to the resignation of El-Zein on the background of accusations of financial corruption attributed to him.