More than 1,400 workers at the “Nile Linen Group” for the production of ready-made clothes and furniture, continued their strike and open sit-in inside the company headquarters in the free industrial zone in Amreya, Alexandria, for the seventh consecutive day on Tuesday, September 26, 2023.
A labor leader at the company said that the company’s management issued lists of dismissal notices to more than 137 workers who participated in the strike, on the pretext of their absence from work. At the same time, the company’s security prevented workers from going out to buy their needs for the sit-in, and also prevented them from entering, or delivering any food or supplies to them.
The labor leader added that the company’s Administration is still determined to waste the rights of workers, and to refuse to negotiate with them before the strike is lifted and the factories are reopened. He explained that the workers are holding a meeting with members of the independent labor union, this evening, to discuss their next moves after the management escalation.
The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) renews its call on all concerned parties, led by the Ministries of Labor and Investment, to intervene to resolve the crisis, especially in light of the difficult living conditions. It also announced its full support for the workers’ demands and its readiness to provide all legal support to them until the crisis is resolved and work is resumed.
The striking workers are demanding to adjust salaries in line with inflation, to restore the cost-of-living allowance, which was cut off with the start of the spread of the new Corona virus, to pay the Eid allowance, which has been stopped for two years, to suspend the disciplinary code within the factory, to pay the profits of the current year, and to distribute the payroll strip.
In addition, the workers’ demands include contracting with a health care system, adding 7 days of risk allowance for automatic and conditioning factories, accepting new memberships within the union, without restrictions, displaying the company’s budget for the year 2022, and paying a 7% incentive for each loom consisting of 8 machines.
A number of workers confirmed that their average salary does not exceed 3,500 pounds, which is less than the minimum wage approved by the President of the Republic in the latest wage adjustment. The salary of a worker who has been with the company for 20 years does not exceed 6,000 pounds, despite the inflation crisis and the sharp rise in prices, which made it no longer possible to provide a decent life for workers and their families.
On the background of the strike, the Administration escalated its arbitrary measures against the workers, and issued a decision to suspend 15 of them from work and refer them for investigation, all of whom are from the processing factory (dyeing).
A labor leader at the company accused the committee tasked with negotiating on behalf of the company’s management of being tough on them, and refusing to negotiate before the strike is lifted and work is resumed. He confirmed that the situation continued to deteriorate after the dissolution of the previous committee tasked with negotiating with the workers.
He pointed out that the meeting that was held on Saturday, September 23, 2023, with the participation of the labor union representing the workers, the negotiation committee representing the management, and a number of security leaders, did not yield any new results, due to the committee’s intransigence and its refusal to implement the workers’ legitimate demands. He also revealed that a committee from the labor office affiliated with the Ministry of Labor visited the sit-in headquarters and confirmed its peacefulness in an official report, before withdrawing without taking any other measures.
The Nile Linen Group includes (7 factories) employing 1,400 workers and 300 female workers, including 4 textile factories, a processing factory (dyeing) and 2 tailoring factories. It operates in the field of production and manufacturing of furniture and ready-made clothes. The value of its investments is approximately $85 million, and it exports its entire production abroad.