Pension Holders Strike Again

Pension Holders Strike Again

Thousands of pension holders protested yesterday in front of the National Social Insurance headquarters in downtown Cairo against the Finance Minister”s procrastination in executing the Supreme Constitutional Court”s decisions no. 153 and 310 securing their right to receive the additional 5% retro-actively, to be equal with workers in allowances, and which sets its maximum limits for pension holders.

Protesters yelled cries against the Minister of Finance Yusuf Botros Ghali and requested his and Insurance Head Tal”at Ismail”s dismissal.  Protesters further called for the Minister”s trial and the execution of the constitutional rulings without explanations.  Protestors also raised the Egyptian flags and signs reading “pension union under construction,” threatening to escalate their methods of protesting if their requests aren”t met within the time limit they had set.  

On the other hand, protesters yelled cries supporting Dr. Amina El-Guindy Former Minister of Social Affairs who was responsible for insurances before joining the Ministry of Finance.

The strike was carried out in the midst of intense security blockade and witnessed a heated argument between a soldier and one of the protesters after he was told to stand behind the iron partition.

The Union”s President El-Badry Farghaly said, “This strike will be the last since officials are ridiculing them; so they”re no longer useful.  Therefore, the union will use more developed methods in the future such as mass demonstrations in the squares.”  Farghaly pointed out that pension holders are not restricted by jobs or appointments making them the only force in Egypt that takes its decision from within.  Farghaly added that even prison life has become better than the hardships people are facing in their daily life and considered the Minister”s procrastination a discriminative stance against the low class.

El-Badry said that there is a long way ahead of the union which begins with the execution of the decisions and passes through equality in social premium between workers and retirees.

The Union”s Secretary General Said El-Sabbagh remarked, “The union was shocked at the refusal of officials in the Ministry of Finance to execute the decisions, hence there is no other method left besides protesting since it has become obvious that the Ministry wants to usurp all the insurance money.”

El-Sabbagh further pointed out that there have been several decisions issued for pension holders necessitating continuous dialogue between the Union and Insurance Authority for the endorsement of our legitimate requests.

From his part, Shura Coucil member Abdul-Rahman Kheir called for the Finance Minister”s dismissal for not executing the decisions of the constitutional court which is considered the highest judicial authority in the country saying, “How can Yusuf Ghali challenge the constitutional decisions which have the power to dissolve the People”s Assembly and has authority over all the state”s institutions?”