State Radio and Television Union employees staged protests outside the iconic building along the Maspero Nile Corniche on Wednesday, demanding outstanding salaries be paid in full and the dismissal of Information Minister Salah Abdel Maqsoud, who they claim is a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer.
“The minister of information and the ruling administration restrict us,” said presenter Doaa Abdel Meguid. She added, “We are accused of being biased,” referring to accusations that state broadcasters are not defending the Muslim Brotherhood against critics.
State-owned Al-Akhbar newspaper reported that the demonstrators were also demanding Masqoud step down for failing to devote resources to reviving the union.
“He appointed flops like chairman Ismail al-Shishtawy, who is a financial burden,” said Amgad Saeed in an interview with state-run Al-Ahram newspaper. “And they want to cut our salaries by 40 percent.”
The protesters blocked the busy corniche briefly and fought with drivers before eventually letting vehicles pass.
In response to the protest, Chairman Shoukry Abu Emeira said all government institutions are currently plagued by funds problems and late salary payments in a statement to Al-Ahram. “It is not just us.”
“We no longer have a monopoly on drama productions,” he said. “Now competition is high.”
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm