Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cairo and some governorates witnessed a new day of demonstrations

Cairo and some governorates witnessed a new day of demonstrations, labor strikes and protests yesterday. Such actions were attended by thousands of education administrative workers, teachers and Arabic calligraphy instructors, as they demanded a pay-scale for them, as well, or incentives.

In Cairo, dozens of demonstrators protested outside the Cabinet headquarters, calling on President Hosni Mubarak to intervene and solve the problem before it got worse. They asked for the dismissal of Prime Minister Nazif and declared they would start an open-ended sit-in until their demands were met.

Arabic calligraphy instructors called for contracts ensuring them a fixed job, adding they only got LE 1.50 per lesson (LE 50 a month).

An hour after the start of the demonstration, the teachers moved to the People's Assembly to demand that the pay-scale law be reviewed, as it deprived them of the right to be appointed.

The governorates of Fayoum, Sharkia, Gharbia, Dakahlia, Beni Suef, Kafr El-Sheikh, Menya, Sohag, Suez, Alexandria, Assiut and Beheira also witnessed strikes and protests at workplaces and some education departments, as thousands of (administrative) workers demanded incentives or the pay-scale.

For his part, Sayed Aboul Maged, President of the general trade union of education workers, said that the trade union succeeded yesterday in organizing sits-in and protests in various Egyptian governorates to voice its members' anger at the Ministry's failure to respond to their demands and pay them an incentive worth 50% of their basic salary or to compensate them for the pay-scale and the local incentive.

He said the general trade union had what it took to organize the biggest protest movements in Egypt's history and to bring work to a standstill.

He added, though, that "the public interest comes first", adding that the trade union did not back the protest outside the Cabinet.