Mahalla textile workers waiting after gov’t promise to pay late bonuses
Workers during a protest - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The government promised Monday to pay Mahalla textile workers their delayed salaries by Thursday, Jan. 22, Youm7 reported.

Gehad Taman, a local employee, told The Cairo Post Monday they are all waiting for promise to be delivered or they will “escalate the situation once again.”

The head of the Spinning and Weaving Holding Ahmed Mustafa announced Monday, the final installment of the workers dues would be disbursed Thursday, as soon as it is officially signed by the board of directors, Youm7 added.

He said that the bonus would be calculated as an average of two months to each worker according to his original salary, explaining that all of the  60,000 workers would be taking their fourth and final installment.

Taman added that in the worst case, if the government did not pay out, “none of the workers will stay silent this time.” He noted that they heard the company is filing a complaint against 13 workers, referring them to investigation over allegedly arranging a strike, however “until now no one has called for this,” he said.

Workers in Mahalla started a strike Jan. 14 demanding the payout of delayed annual bonuses.  They announced its dispersal Jan. 17 after 4 days, explaining in statement released by Abdel Al-Fattah Ibrahim, the head of the General Syndicate of Textile Workers, they would resume work to ”uphold the interest of the nation.”

Textile workers is Mahalla city, Gharbia Governorate, have been in the media since the January 25 Revolution in 2011. They have arranged several strikes and protests demanding their  salaries to be raised and to frame a fixed  maximum and minimum wage, however they have often faced accusations by the government  of being “selfish” for seeking “individual demands.”

During a meeting in November 2014 with the Members of the Board of the Union of Workers, and the heads of public unions, Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab said “the state is currently going through an important phase that doesn’t need strikes or protests…, as we agreed that the ‘new Egypt’ shouldn’t be including the term of individual demands, we must create a new environment linking wages with production.”

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