Labor and Social Protests Index in January 2018

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)

Freedom of Expression for Workers and Social Movements Program

Report Summary:

Despite the harsh repression and punishments by which the Egyptian authorities deal with any protest, the most vulnerable groups were the social ones who faced unfair violations of economic and social rights with many forms of protest, of which 30 were protests were monitored by the program.

Cairo was on top with various forms of labor protests, as well as the social protests.

As for the sectors that witnessed protest movements, the education sector and its problems have given been priority to both labor and professional protests or social protests.

The demands of the protest movement focused during this month on the demand for wages, allowances and incentives, in addition to demanding the contract hiring and the provision of occupational safety and health, and also focused on the legalization of the conditions of farmers, and the registration of sports clubs.

The program monitored (30 protests) during the month. Among them (21 labor and professional protest) and (9 social protests) summarized as follows:

Labor protests:

  1. The strikes were in 8 (eight strikes)
  2. The sit-in were at 2 (sit-ins)
  3. The stands were seven (seven)
  4. Threats to have vigils were  (three times)
  5. Food Strike (one case)

Social protests:

  1. The vigils were 7 (seven stops)
  2. Vigil Threats were 2 (two of them)

All of this is broken down as follows:

First: Labor and professional protests:

  1. Strike:
  2. The sit-in:
  3. Demonstrations and demonstrations:
  4. Waving a protest:
  5. Food hunger strikes:

The leaders and workers of the factories, companies and public bodies continued to protest peacefully to express the deterioration in their living conditions, their inability to meet their family demands due to the terrible increase in prices, or to protest to demand delayed wages or fixation for the purpose of stabilizing their job conditions, and gaining job security.

Strikes:

  1. The strike of Samannoud  Wool Factory workers:

For the third day in a row, workers from Samannoud Wool factory went on strike for the third consecutive day since January 1 to demand the payment of social allowances approved by the President of the Republic for a minimum of LE 165 and a maximum of EGP 330.

The first day of January witnessed the continuation of the strikes of Samannoud workers, which began the day before. The employees of the company had a strike because of the lack of implementation of their financial demands to raise the incentive of development from 260 pounds to 550 pounds, similar to textile companies in addition to adding the cost of living incentive to Salary.

  1. Workers strike «Egypt for environmental services» to claim their rights:

Dozens of workers of the Egyptian Environmental Services Company (a foreign cleaning company tasked with cleaning the neighborhoods east of Cairo) went on a strike during the morning shift on Monday (January 1st) to demand compensation for the end of the project.

Because the company will end its contract with Cairo governorate next April, and workers want to secure their financial rights by the end of the project.

  1. Strike of the workers of “General Authority for Cleanness &Beautification” in Suez:

The workers of the General Authority for cleanness and Beautification in Suez governorate went on strike in protest against the delay in the payment of the salary of December until Wednesday, January 3rd.

The officials in the company succeeded in solving that problem after they had negotiated with the workers, and the salaries would be paid early in the morning of the next day as promised by the officials.

  1. «Workers of Egypt Union » continue their strike and vigil because of the «pay raise» .. for the third day in a row

 The delay in the payment of the two due pay raises for the years 2016 and 2017 sparked a state of great anger among the workers and employees of the General Union of Egyptian Trade Unions, after the promises they had received from the Board of Directors of the Union, headed by Jibali Al Maraghi, to solve the crisis within days. The workers confirmed they gave the board a month to resolve the crisis and nothing happened.

The workers then went on strike, sit-in and protesting at the Union building on Jalaa’ Street on January 8th and continued until Jan 10th.

They head of the union, Jibali Al-Maraghi, called the securities to disperse the rioters and deal with the protesters, as the union’s vice president told journalists who said that the protests and vigils were nothing more than a cry of pain and concern for the future of the Union.

  1. The strike of workers of a Mahalla Kubra Cleanness Authority II:

Workers and drivers of Mahalla Kubra Cleanness Authority II announced the strike and refused to work on the morning of January 15th because of the lack of salaries and the failure of those responsible to solve their problems.

The Stressed on that they entered into an open strike until the payment of due payments of more than three months of their salaries and bonuses.

  1. “Gharbia Security” succeeds in convincing the workers of “Tanta Linen” to stop the strike

Tanta Flax workers returned to work after a five-day strike to demand the appointment, payment of incentives and late profit shares due to late payment of their financial dues and appointment.

This came after the meeting of a representative of the delegation of the workers with the Commissioner General of the company, and in the presence of leaders of Gharbia Directorate Security, which lead to an agreement between the parties on the return of workers to work and the continuation of production and in return giving a deadline to discuss their demands presented to the Company.

  1. Kafr Shukr Hospital Nursing Staff Strike Due to “Custody”:

On Tuesday (January 30th), the nursing staff of Kafr Shukr Central Hospital in Qalioubia organized a strike to protest the hospital administration’s request to sign the receipt of medical equipment and supplies for the hospital as custody.

A number of strikers said that “the hospital administration requires them to sign the custody of the dental and internal clinics, and then these devices or custody will be transferred to the hospital store in the village of Tesfa, whose building is currently being renovated” confirming their refusal to sign the custody because of the store has been stolen more than once and in the end the cost of custody will paid by the nurses. “

  1. The strike of the drivers and agents of “Careem” company in Alexandria, and “Cairo Death”

Dozens of car drivers and agents working in the service of Careem in Alexandria on Saturday evening (January 20th) protested against what they described as the company’s policies towards them, in terms of the delay in the delivery of their financial dues and the accounting system company conditions that are impossible to be met.

The strike began with the gathering of dozens of cars operating on the company’s systems in a number of areas in the east and center of the city including Carrefour, Smouha and El-Seyouf, and closed the application simultaneously.

The protesters commented on a number of signs on their cars with; “Until the implementation of the demands.”

Sit-in:

  1. Workers of “National Cement” sit-in:

Workers of the National Cement Company in Helwan have held an open sit-in since Sunday (January 14th) to protest the decision of the chairman to stop working in factories due to the high fuel prices.

Some 1,000 employees, engineers, administrators, general managers and sector managers, protested against the decision to stop the operation of the factories, which would completely stop the production, and would negatively affect their wages and financial incentives.

The workers ended their sit-in on Monday morning (January 15th) after the administration negotiated with them and reassured them regarding their rights. The administration stated that the decisions were organizational and would not affect the workers’ incentives.

  1. Railway Workers’ sit-in:

A number of train workers entered an open sit-in in front of the office of the head of the National Railways Authority (NRA) because they forced workers to change their job titles from “train technicians” to “workers on trains”.

Railway workers have threatened to enter into a hunger strike, demanding the transportation minister to intervene to resolve their problems that NRA refuses settling their situation, and that they were transferred to work on long-distance trains as workers instead of their original jobs.

Protests and Vigils:

A protest for workers «El Montazah for Tourism» to protest the delay in the payment of their dues:

A number of employees of El Montazah for Tourism Company, which manages El Montazah Palace in Alexandria with its surrounding gardens, organized a protest in front of the company’s headquarters on Thursday (January 11th ) to protest the late payment of their dues.

The protesters presented a memorandum to the company’s president, which covered several items, including the payment of financial arrears, the disbursement of late legal, a high-cost bonus, as was done with some other departments, and the payment of a fixed end-of-service reward to all.

A protest for doctors in Daqahalia after the arrest of 3 on charges of tax evasion:

A number of gynecologists and obstetricians in Daqahalia on Monday (January 15th) staged a protest on the ramparts of the Daqahalia Doctors Syndicate in the presence of the syndicate leaders to protest against the referral of some of them to tax evasion authorities and to arrest them retroactively since 2014 despite filing tax returns for this period.

Lawyers’ protest in front of the Bar Association to protest the “Selective Lists”:

A number of lawyers organized a sit-in in front of their syndicate’s headquarters, on January 13th to restate their rejection of the association’s decision to select the lists, and shouted slogans against the head of the lawyers Syndicate, Sameh Ashour:

“Hey leader called Ashour, Immunity is constitutional”

A protest for temporary workers at Fayoum University:

Dozens of temporary workers at Fayoum University staged a protest in front of the university administration building, and raised banners demanding their fixation after more than five years of work without receiving allowances or health insurance.

The stand lasted for 3 hours and the protesters raised signs that carried the words “Have been patient for 4 years with salaries of 450 pounds and no premium or insurance” and “We demand our fixation” and “University contracts are unfair.”

The protesters confirmed that their number exceeds 280 workers in various departments of the university and its colleges, and they have not yet been fixed so far, announcing their continued peaceful protests until their demands are met.

A protest for the workers of «Ghiadah Cement Factory » in Beni Suef:

90 workers from one of the companies responsible for the operation and maintenance of the cement factory in the village of East Ghiadah in Beni Suef (ASEC) organized a protest in front of the company’s headquarters in Cairo on Tuesday (January 2nd), opposing the decision to reduce the number of weekly rest days to one day instead of two days from January 1st.

The editor of Al-Nabaa newspaper went to the headquarters of the cement factory in the village of Ghiadah, and found out that the reason for the workers organizing the stand in was that the company reduced the weekly rest from two to one day.

A protest for the workers of the school nutrition project in Fayoum:

On Sunday (January 21st), dozens of workers at the school nutrition project in Fayoum organized a protest in front of the food factories in Kom Aushim and Ibsheway to demand their fixation and the payment of their salaries that were 2 months due.

The individual worker receives 1000 pounds per month, and has not been disbursed their incentives, which amounted to 300 pounds four months ago, and therefore they decided to organize a protest to demand their financial entitlements and fixation.

A protest for the workers of the school nutrition in Shatta Damietta for not being fixated and deprived of their salaries:

A number of school nutrition workers staged a protest in front of the school nutrition factory in Shatta, Damietta, because they were not fixated despite their work for more than 3 years.

The staff explained that there was a decision issued by the Ministry of Finance for them to be appointed on personal grades, which deprived them of being on the payroll during the school summer vacation.

They asked Ismail Abdelhamid Taha, the governor of Damietta, to visit them, especially since he had already visited the factory and praised the performance, demanding that he helps them being fixated and maintain their salaries.

Vigil/Protest Threats:

A threat for silent protest for teachers on January 19 inside their syndicate offices all over the Republic:

Mohammed Zahran, the director of the administration of talented students in Mataria school district and founder of the Teachers Independence Movement, called for a silent protest of female and male teachers on Friday, January 19th inside the teachers’ syndicate offices in governorates and clubs all over the republic.

He called for protests by the teachers only, without any intruders, and asked for the unified demands to be written on banners all over the republic, to be carried out during the silent protests.

Those demands were to increase the basic salary for teachers to be equal to the special groups in the country, also the disbursement of salaries, bonuses, incentives and allowances on the basis of the current year 2018 salary and not on the basis of 2014 salary, and the completion of the law of education with financial and professional privileges approved by the masses of teachers.

Workers at workers’ union protest threat:

Workers of the General Federation of Egyptian Trade Unions threatened to organize an open sit-in at the headquarters of the Union on Monday because of the delay by the Board of Directors of the Union in the disbursement of social benefits of 10% and the cost of living bonus for them.

Essam Ezzat, vice chairman of the trade union committee of the workers’ union, said that the board of directors of the union had agreed to pay the two bonuses at the board meeting held on Dec. 25th.

Employees, workers and trainers at the Sporting Club are protest threat:

There was a state of great anger inside Al-Obour Sports Club because of the persistent position of the Olympic Committee and the failure to hand over the club so far to the elected board of directors without knowing any reasons behind that matter.

The employees, workers, and trainers of the club expressed deep dissatisfaction with the position of the Olympic Committee, that they did not receive their salaries for two months, that affected them negatively disabling them from supporting their homes, and that they may resort to a protest in the club for their voice to be heard by the minister and state officials.

  1. Hunger Strikes:

An employee of the Central Fikria Hospital in Minia ends his hunger strike after 5 days

An administrative assistant at the Central Fikria Hospital in Abu Qurqas in Minia decided to stop his strike temporarily after based on advice and guidance to him by the Awqaf scholars after a decision was issued to postpone his transfer until an investigation was conducted by the legal affairs.

“I decided to go on a hunger strike at the Central Thought Hospital since Friday (December 29th), the day I knew about my transfer without investigation, and I plea to the mayor and the governor of Minia to look at my problem,” he said.

Second: Social protests:

The vigils:

A protest in the Helwan trade in protest against the difficulty of the examination of costs

Dozens of fourth-year students at the Faculty of Commerce, English Section at Helwan University complained about the difficulty of the cost accounting exam, as some students collapsed after the exam because they could not answer the questions.

The students organized a protest in front of the Dean’s office on Saturday (January 6th ) demanding that the content of the exam should be reviewed, stressing that the exam, if passed in this way, will affect the grades of all the students, especially the outstanding students, indicating that they would not remain silent Subject.

Demonstration of pension staff at Maspero due to end of service benefits

Several pension staff of the National Information Agency staged a demonstration on Wednesday (January 10th) to urge officials to quickly resolve the end-of-service bonus crisis.

A protest rally for the students of the city of Aswan in which they object to paying late fees

On Saturday (January 6th), some students of the university dorm in Abu al-Rish area in Aswan staged a protest against the demand by university dorm administration to pay LE 85 more than last September.

A protest for owners of “Chalets” to protest against not receiving them since 2005:

A number of chalets owners organized a stand on Thursday (January 4th) protesting that the company had not been handed over their chalets since 2005 and so far had not started any projects for the development and construction of those chalets.

Journalists organize a protest to demand the release of “Suwefi” and “Abdul Aziz:

A number of journalists organized a protest on Monday (January 15th) in the lobby of the union to demand the release of journalists Hossam al-Suwefi and Ahmed Abdel Aziz, who had been arrested by the security forces on the union ladder during a pro Jerusalem stand a month before.

The held banners were reading: “Freedom for those who stood for Jerusalem, Freedom for the Suwefi and Abdul Aziz.”

A protest for Fayed farmers in Ismailia to demand the rationing of their agricultural lands

A number of farmers from the city of Fayed, Ismailia, on Wednesday (January 17th) organized a protest to demand the speedy commencement of procedures to legalize their agricultural lands in accordance with the Prime Minister’s decision to ration agricultural land after completing all required papers.

The farmers said they had submitted all the required documents to the city of Fayed but still it – the city council – delayed sending them to the special committee of the Ismailia General Court.

A protest by the owners from the «Housing Egypt» project in front of «Ministry of Housing»

On Monday, January 29th, dozens of owners of the housing units of the Housing Egypt project organized a protest in front of the Ministry of Housing to demand a reconsideration of the decisions taken by the ministry. They included what they called “numerous violations of their contract clauses” while officials from the ministry stressed the problems would be handled over the coming two weeks.

 

Protest Threats:

Gharbia security Director dissolves the lawyers crisis after the demolition of the wall of Samannoud Club and threatening to protest:

Maher Darwish, the head of the Bar Association in East Tanta, confirmed the end of the crisis of the lawyers club in Samannoud city after the intervention of Major General Tariq Hassouna, director of security in Gharbia to contain the crisis after the commissioner of the Samannoud Center decided to demolish the bar club’s court on the grounds of lack of licenses despite the conditions of the club.

There was a state of indignation and anger among the masses of lawyers in Gharbia district, especially in the center of Samannoud, after the police demolished the gate of the lawyers’ club in the city. They threatened to protest against the execution of the demolition without paying attention to the papers, and the head of lawyers’ syndicate promised an immediate action.

Protest threat by the members of “Dream Pegasus” club to demand the registration of the club with youth and sports:

Members of the Dreamland Pegasus Club of Dreamland have collected signatures to claim the club’s registration based on the Sports Act, forming an elected Board of Directors, drafting the club rules, and controlling members’ budget.

As the club management did not respond to their requests, members of the Dreamland-Pegasus club decided to organize a protest to demand that the club be registered under the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Third: Geographical distribution of labor and professional protests:

Cairo topped the protest scene with eight different protests, followed by Gharbia with three protests in second place, followed by Alexandria and Fayoum governorates with two protests each in third place, then came the governorates of Suez, Daqahalia, Damietta, Qalioubia and Minia in last place with one protest each.

Teachers called and threatened a single protest all over the Republic.

Fourth: Geographical distribution of social protests:

Cairo topped the social protest scene with 4 protests, followed by the Giza, Gharbia, Suez, Ismailia and Aswan with one each.

Fifth: Sector distribution of labor and professional protests:

The education sector and its problems topped the list with 4 different protests, followed by the health and services sectors with 3 protests each, followed by textiles, transport, communications and transport sectors with two each, followed by lawyers, tourism and sports one protest for each of them.

Sixth: Sector distribution of Social protests:

The education sector and its problems topped the priority as well as the construction sector with a number of different protests ranked first, followed by sectors of lawyers, media, journalism, agriculture, sports and pensioners with one protest each.

Thus, it is clear from the previous presentation that the protests are still ongoing either in the Labor and professional sectors or in the social sector, to demand wages, allowances, incentives, etc., or to demand fixation, provide occupational safety and health means, to demand the operation of suspended factories or to legalize the conditions of farmers, employees and workers.

We believe that the size of the protests will rise in the coming months after the dates of periodic or social allowances, and employers will escape from their implementation with many arguments (such as the General Union of Workers supposed to defend all workers and abandon it as a model and example of evading obligations).

We call on parliamentarians, party leaders and civil society organizations to pay attention to the legitimate demands and rights of the people and to respond to them in every way, in order to maintain stable working relations and social peace.

 The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information

 Program Freedom of expression of workers and social movements

This report is based on a number of sources:

field monitoring of the program of freedom of expression of workers and social movements, labor issues conducted by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, in addition to some newspapers and websites, including Al Wattan, Al Masry Al Youm, Al Wafd, Masrawy, and Youm7).