After the failure of negotiations with the administration, “Ghazl El-Mahalla” workers continue their strike in protest of not being included in the minimum wage increases
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After the failure of negotiations with the administration, “Ghazl El-Mahalla” workers continue their strike in protest of not being included in the minimum wage increases

 

Workers at the factories of the Egyptian Spinning and Weaving Company “Ghazl El-Mahalla” continued their strike today, Sunday, February 25, 2024 which temporarily started on Thursday, February 22, 2024. This protest is in response to not being included in the decision to increase the minimum wage to 6,000 Egyptian pounds, approved by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for the government sector, excluding the public sector, to which the government-owned company belongs.

The workers emphasized that their decision to continue the strike came after the failure of negotiations with the company’s management, which refused to meet their demands. They demanded an increase in their meal allowance, which they claim is not enough to buy a liter of milk.

Additionally, the workers demanded the cessation of deductions, taxes, and deductions taken from their wage increases without justification after being labeled as “profits,” especially given the difficult economic conditions they are experiencing.

The announcement of the workers’ strike last Thursday coincided with the visit of the Governor of Gharbia to the factory to inaugurate the “Ahlan Ramadan” exhibition. At the same time, security sector workers closed the building’s doors on the striking workers and prevented them from leaving. This action prompted the governor to cancel his visit, fearing a gathering of workers. The management of “Ghazl El-Mahalla” decided to start the first shift one hour earlier than scheduled.

It is worth mentioning that the increases that Ghazl El-Mahalla workers used to receive were exempt from deductions before the management decided to deduct them by percentages reaching 40%. This decision was made while their salaries were determined by the National Wages Council, which raised the minimum wages for the private sector to 3,500 pounds last October.

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi directed at the beginning of February to implement the largest urgent social package for social protection, worth 180 billion pounds, starting from the first of the upcoming month, March 2024. This includes increasing the salaries of state employees and economic entities by a minimum ranging from 1,000 to 1,200 pounds according to the job grade (1,000 pounds for grades six to four, 1,100 pounds for grades three to one, and 1,200 pounds for grades from general manager to ministry deputy) through advancing the periodic allowance for those addressed by the Civil Service Law by 10% of the job salary, and 15% of the basic salary for those not addressed, with a minimum of 150 pounds and a total cost of 11 billion pounds, and providing an additional incentive, starting from 500 pounds for the sixth grade, increasing by 50 pounds for each grade, reaching 900 pounds for the excellent grade, at a cost of 37.5 billion pounds, with a total cost of about 65 billion pounds, reflecting in raising the minimum wage by 50% to reach 6,000 pounds.

The social package also includes raising the tax exemption limit for all state employees in the government and public sectors by 33%, from 45,000 pounds to 60,000 pounds, at an annual cost of 5 billion pounds.

The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR), expressing solidarity with the workers in the “Ghazl El-Mahalla” factories, calls for meeting their legitimate and humane demands, urging the need to focus on the workers and ensure their rights and fair gains in light of the current economic challenges.

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