CAIRO: The Cotton and Textile Industries Holding Company (CTIHC), which co-owns and oversees 32 garment industry subsidiaries, officially demanded the Ministry of Finance pay 167.2 million EGP ($24.6 million) to textile workers as financial arrears Al-Masry Al-Youm reported Sunday.
Seventy million pounds of the sum is due for textile worker salaries, 90 million EGP for bonuses and 7.2 million EGP in particular for back wages for employees of the state-owned Shebin El-Kom Textile Company.
CTIHC’s demand comes as it seeks to compensate workers at Mahalla Textiles and Weaving Company before Ramadan, it said in a statement. Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab previously promised textile workers during recent strikes and sit-ins that salaries would be paid by this summer said Ahmed Mustafa, head of the CTIHC.
There have been many textile strikes in the past few months, and most participating workers are demanding due wages, applying a minimum wage, bonuses and increased raw material.
These were among the major demands of workers when strikes started at the government-owned Shebin El-Kom in Menoufia last March. Workers at the Mahalla Textiles and Weaving Company also held strikes over bonuses and strikers called on dismissing company commissioner Abdel Fattah al-Zoghba, The Cairo Post previously reported.
Hundreds of workers from several Egyptian textile companies have also protested in front of the State Council against an appeal filed by the government to remove these companies from the public sector after years of privatization under the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak. The government has discussed nationalizing companies like Ghazl Shebeen, Tanta for Linen and El-Nile for Cotton Ginning.
In response to the CTIHC’s demands, and prior to Mustafa’s comments to Al-Masry Al-Youm Sunday, the Ministry of Finance announced Saturday it is working to provide the salaries for companies that have been recently nationalized, Al- Masry Al-Youm reported.
Mustafa said the average worker’s salary in the textile industry is only 31,000 EGP annually, and that efforts need to be made to increase salaries and boost production.