Salemco workers clash with employer, again

Thursday witnessed fresh clashes between employees of the Salemco spinning and weaving company and factory owner Mohamed Abdel Halim. The new round of confrontation comes after company union officials had reportedly clinched an agreement with their employer.
The agreement, arrived at on Sunday, had included the payment of protesting workers’ January and February salaries. The cost, according to the deal, was to be shared between the Manpower Ministry and Abdel Halim.

On Thursday, workers arrived at the Salemco complex to receive their February salaries. But while the ministry kept its side of the bargain by paying registered workers the basic salaries, Abdel Halim arrived at the complex with a new announcement, abruptly declaring that the factory’s entire workforce would be subject to an LE150 pay cut.

Upon hearing the announcement, assembled workers launched a new sit-in, which was quickly surrounded by police and state security forces. Manpower Ministry officials arrived soon afterward.

"In any other country, he [Abdel Halim] would be put on trial immediately," Salemco union head Subhi Khattab told Al-Masry Al-Youm. "He has no interest in the rights of the workers."

"He doesn’t listen to anyone," Khattab added. "He’s trampling the law itself under his feet."

Nevertheless, the union head went on to say that the situation was "typical" for Egypt.

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