Egyptian Truck Drivers Still on Strike amid Security Threats

Egyptian Truck Drivers Still on Strike amid Security Threats

Trailer truck drivers continued their strike and stopped hitting the road for the second day in a row in several Egyptian governorates, stressing they will not stop the strike unless the People”s Assembly backpedals on a bill it recently ratified to cancel trailers. The drivers said these bill will harm their sources of living.

In Dakahlia our correspondent Ahmed Abdul Hadi reported that a number of heavy truck drivers in Mansoura faced tough security threats and were warned against hold a rally or take part in the strike. They also said that members of their union abandoned them and hold contacts with the security services to prevent holding the strike.

The drivers dismissed the government”s allegations that they are the cause of a rise in road accidents, confirming that private cars and taxis are the real cause of this because their driving licences are easier to get. They also denounced that the traffic law handles road accidents “through harming their sources of living”. “If banning trailers from roads will prevent road accidents, then all Egyptian ports should be closed, because drugs are smuggled through them”, said a driver.

It is worth noting that the drivers tried to stage a sit-in on Friday in front of the governorate building, but the visit that Al Azhar Sheikh and Minister of Religious Endowments paid to the governorate prevented them from doing so.

In the same context, a big number of drivers refused to take part in the strike, saying the truck”s is the only source of income for several families: Families of the truck”s owner, the driver and two driver assistants working in the truck. Others alleged that they are still paying the price of the truck and that they can”t stop work bcause they need money.

In El-Mahalla El-Kubra said our correspondent Salsabil Alaa said the drivers protested against the bill that the People”s Assembly ratified last month, that stipulates canceling trailers, claiming they are responsible for road accidents.

In Monofiya, our correspondent Wahid Mostafa confirmed that lorry drivers staged a strike against work today to protest against the People”s Assembly decision. The truck owners in Monofiya said that their strike will continue for 24 hours as a first step in a series of protest activities.

It is worth noting that Monofiya has 18 thousand trailers, and the decision may send more than 30 thousand families to jobless rolls because they mainly depend on these trailers as a source of living.

For his part, Ashraf Al-Kuhli, chairman of the land transport society in the governorate confirmed that 75 % of trailer owners have stopped hitting the road since yesterday, and that prices of loading cement rose to more than 100 pounds a ton. He said also that there are thousands of farmers who wait for fertilizers but do not find cars. Al-Kuhli added that cement prices are rising 150 % because of the strike after it reached 650 pounds a ton yesterday.