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Sokhna plant workers stage 7th sit-in - Daily News Egypt

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Sokhna plant workers stage 7th sit-in

Seasonal contractors are blocking entrances demanding fulltime positions at the power plant they built

Workers of El Sokhna Electricity authority conduct strike action in front of the plant  (Amr Ghonema/File photo)
Workers of El Sokhna Electricity authority conduct strike action in front of the plant
(Amr Ghonema/File photo)

Hundreds of workers staged a sit-in by the Ain El-Sokhna power plant in Suez demanding fulltime contracts.

“We are currently blocking the entrances; this is our seventh sit-in. We were promised full time contracts a while ago and told would be hired last Thursday but nothing happened. We tried to talk to military representatives but no one would meet with us,” Mohamed Ismail, a worker participating in the sit-in, told Daily News Egypt.

Ismail added that a military brigadier general, the commander of the Fourth Company, was currently on site negotiating with the workers.

The workers, all seasonal contractors, have staged six sit-ins at the plant before and were promised by the military authorities that they would be hired fulltime, Saud Omar told Daily News Egypt. Omar is the labour advisor for the Egyptian Union of Independent Syndicates.

“These youth all work in the construction sector which is seasonal in nature, making them unemployed for large spells during the year. Suez has the second highest unemployment rate in the country so when they approached the former governor Abdel Moniem Hashem and asked to be hired fulltime he welcomed the idea,” said Omar.

These workers were all involved in the construction of the plant and as such felt they were entitled to fulltime positions when it officially opened, added Omar. The Ain El-Sokhna power plant is said to be operational by July.

Hashem pitched the idea to the then-minister of electricity and energy Hassan Younes who was also on board. When Younes was replaced, however, it seems the idea was abandoned, Omar said.

“The workers then started sit-in after sit-in for six times until finally Major General Mohamed Shams, the Air Defence Force Chief of Staff himself promised them they would be hired,” said Omar.

On Thursday the workers found an announcement for positions in the plant but to their dismay, Ismail said, none of them met the required qualifications.

“They made it so almost none of us are eligible. We demand that they directly hire all of us,” Ismail said.


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