CAIRO: The Giza Preliminary Court adjourned yesterday the hearing of eight workers claiming unfair dismissal. The next session will take place Jan. 16.
The workers were dismissed three months ago from the German-Egyptian company Infit, which produces pipe fittings and small jobbing castings. After taking their case to the Workers’ Union, as well as several human rights groups, they filed a lawsuit.
The workers were dismissed on the grounds that they were illegally striking and inciting their co-workers to strike. However, the workers claim that they were, and still are, making peaceful demands for workers’ rights.
The lawyers representing the employees are confident that they will be permitted to return to work following the next hearing.
The case will also be altered to incorporate the demands made by the thousand workers at Infit. These include a raise in salary as well as the establishment of an emergency clinic at the factory.
“The grounds on which the employees were fired do not stand as a case, Ahmad Fathi of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, who is also part of the employees’ defense team, told Daily News Egypt.
“In 2003, a law was passed in Egypt to protect workers from unfair dismissal. Article 96 of that law stipulates that a company cannot legally fire an employee unless he violates one of nine clauses such as thievery and sabotage of company property. None of the eight committed any crime that could justify dismissal, Fathi explained.
Ruqaya Abdel Azim, a representative of the Workers’ Union who attended the hearing in support of the employees, said, “There was an investigation held by the company itself into the dismissed employees, but it was not delivered to the Union. It was the employees themselves who came to us and demanded an investigation.
“In the past two years we’ve secured rights for 300 workers. Their rights will be realized.