4,000 Ghazl Shebeen El-Koum Textile Workers On Strike

4000 workers of Monofiya-based Ghazl Shebeen El-Koum Textile factory continue their sit-in for the forurth day in a row, after the government broke its promises to workers before selling the company, of paying 140-day bonuses for the period from July 31, 2006 to Jan., 31, 2007, four months as a reward, and 12% shares of the factory on privatization.
The workers were promised 140-day bonuses (for fullfilling the production plan from July 2006 to 31 January 2007) to be paid as the deal is sealed, but when the morning shift workers went to receive their pay at 3pm, they were shocked to find that only a 45-day loan (not bonus) was awaiting them, and only as a loan from the company, and that all promises have been broken.
After that, the workers went to the directors of the parent company who are responsible for the factory, but they were denied access to them; then, they went to the Factory Union Committee; the committee chairman (affiliated to the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP) informed them that he and his colleagues in the committee were paid their dues and dismissed them.
The multinational company Andurama that bought Ghazl Shebeen El-Koum Textile factory from the Egyptian government received the factory on Thursday Feb. 1, 2007; however, no one of the workers in the sit-in know anything about their future or about the fate of the government promises.

For his part, Ragab said Abu Zeid, a Muslim Brotherhood parliamentarian for Shebeen El-Koum, Monofiya, told Ikhwanweb:” The sit-in is still held until now and the workers insist on achieving their demands and receive their full rights, because they do not trust the government’s promises or policy, especially under measures of privatization in which worker’s rights are infringed.

Concerning his parliamentary role in this crisis, Abu Zeid said that there is a meeting with workers today to decide who to deal with this crisis through parliament.

It is worth mentioning that the Egyptian workers arena is witnessing continuous sit-ins and huge strikes under the operation of privatization and while the government doesn’t fulfill the promises which it sealed with workers. The Ghazl El-Mahalla El-Kubra textile company, Gharbiya, north of Cairo, witnessed a five-day strike last month staged by about 27000 workers.

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