Egypt Watch

Workers of Beshay Steel escalate their strike

Saturday, workers of Beshay Steel Company in Sadat City, who went on strike two weeks ago, refused the administration’s offer for direct bargaining.

The refusal escalates the workers’ protest against the low wages in the company and the temporary contracting employment policy. A worker who committed suicide weeks ago because of failing to meet his family’s living requirements ignited the workers’ outrage. A complaint of sabotage and incitement filed by the administration against 11 workers promoted the strike.

The workers accuse the administration of stalling in disbursing the annual dividends since 2015 and demand a constant 15% bonus over the monthly salary. One of the workers said they refused direct bargaining because the administration refused to attend last Wednesday’s meeting with the workers, the Metal and Engineering Industries General Trade Union and the Labor Office of the workforce ministry. The administration reported refusing the workers’ basic demands at the meeting by phone. “The administration ignored our basic demands regarding wages restructuring while accepting marginal demands per minimum,” said the worker.

The failure of the Wednesday meeting pushed the workers to fire the administrators from their offices in the company. Against the administration hardliner, the workers raised a long list of demands, including 50% housing compensation, 30% annual bonus with a minimum of 1000 pounds to be paid retrospectively from 2020, increasing transport compensation up to 25% of the total salary, and the same for the meal compensation as well as replacing temporary contracting with constant employment.