“Care Services” workers ended their sit-in and strike after the UN Peacekeeping Forces’ Commander promised to implement their demands within three weeks
“Care Services” workers at UN Peacekeeping forces’ Camp had staged a two-day sit-in and strike, protesting low wages and services.
The workers stated that the decision of the strike was taken after a meeting held yesterday with Ivan Williams, the Commander of the UN Peacekeeping Camp in Sheikh Zuweid, Sharm El Sheikh, and Arish. He promised to solve their problems and fulfill their requests gradually over the coming three weeks.
One worker explained that the workers at the Arish Camp received an anonymous email containing threats from a senior official in the company if they resorted to organizing protest events within the workplace. He pointed out that the workers in Arish Camp are demanding the same requests addressed by their counterparts in Sharm El Sheikh Camp, awaiting a response.
It’s noteworthy that dozens of workers affiliated with “Care Services” company at the peacekeeping forces camp in Sharm El Sheikh and Sheikh Zuweid regions began a sit-in and strike today, Sunday, November 26, 2023, protesting against the deterioration of their living conditions in terms of wages and services within the camp, as well as instances of corruption.
Work inside the camp came to a halt following the strike of around 400 workers who provide various services, including plumbing, maintenance workshops, cleaning services, cooking, laundry, and the market. Meanwhile, workers in the Arish region reportedly faced threats of dismissal if they participated in the sit-in, according to some of their colleagues.
Several protesting workers pointed to the decline in their monthly salaries, averaging 4000 Egyptian pounds for those with up to 25 years of experience, while sanitation workers earn no more than 2000 pounds.
One worker explained that they haven’t received a salary increase since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. He added that, before contract renewals, the international force approved a 50% salary increase, but it was not disbursed even after renewing contracts in early October. The workers were surprised by a decision from “Care Services” management to increase salaries by only 25%.
Moreover, UN Peacekeeping approved a dry meal allowance of up to $12 daily, however the company used to provide them with a dry meal allowance of 300 Egyptian pounds monthly.
In addition, the protesters demand transparency in promotions and grades, as well as healthcare guarantees. They point out that the material of the official uniform provided by “Care Services” causes skin problems, in addition to the unprepared and inhumane housing, as they describe it. They emphasize that they won’t relinquish the 100% salary increase, considering many of them have been working since the presence of international forces in the early ’80s, while the salaries of some do not exceed 3000 pounds.
It is worth mentioning that the workers at the United Nations Peacekeeping camp affiliated with “Care Services” staged strikes and sit-ins in 2011 and 2012 due to the previously mentioned demands.