Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Train Signalmen Strike

By Khair Ragheb, Wala’ Nabil, Mohamed el-Saadani 28/ 1/ 2009

The signalmen of the Railway Authority went on strike for three hours in protest against not receiving their bonuses.
They stopped all train traffic as of 1:00 p.m. by turning the red lights all the way up to Alexandria and down to Menya, causing a large number of passengers to return their tickets and take taxis.
700 signalmen first staged a sit-in in Cairo Station before they went on strike till 3:30 p.m. when their union members told them the minister of transport promised to meet their demands within 48 hours. They threatened strike again if their demands were not met by Thursday.
Mahmoud Sami, head of the Railway Authority, said he has no budget for their demands because he had disbursed a 50% bonus two months ago. But he said he would give LE 120,000 to the 2500 signalmen.
An official source with the Ministry of Transport told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the Railway Authority will in a few days submit a proposal for salary adjustments to the minister of transport and the prime minister to be effective as of July.
For her part, Minister of Manpower Aisha Abdel Hadi said that Cabinet will discuss the problems of the railway workers next week. She was more than half an hour late for a conference on Human Resource Development organized by the American Chamber of Commerce due to the strike.

Translated from the Arabic by Eltorjoman International
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