18 May, 2009

Postal worker detained for "inciting to strike"

More repression: As Hossam al-Hamalawy reported, a postal worker from Ismailiya has been detained on charges of "inciting a strike threatening the national economy". According to a statement published by the Center for Socialist Studies, Mamdouh Faza'e was arrested by state security after sending a fax to his bosses in Cairo in which he threatened with a strike unless temporary workers was employed on permanent contracts. The prosecutor has ordered his detention for 15 days for during the investigation, while labour lawyers maintain that Faza'e didn't break any law, that going on strike is a constitutional right, and that threatening to strike cannot be considered "incitement."

More on the postal workers:

* On Sunday, postal workers in Kafr el-Sheikh called for a national strike - starting Monday. This call came after the manager of the Egyptian Post Authority refused to meet a delegation of postal workers from several governorates despite the fact that "he himself had fixed the time for the meeting."

* Apparently, one of the grievances of the postal workers is that employees of the telecommunications authority earns 3 times as much, even though they belong to the same ministry. Another long-running dispute concerns the refusal of the management to give fixed contracts to workers employed after 2001.

* Today, "hundreds" of postal workers started an "open-ended" sit in in Kafr el-Sheikh. According to Al-Youm Al-Sabi'a the General Union of Postal Workers tried to convince the workers to cancel the protest.

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