Railway workers to receive incentives, train drivers wait

Sarah Carr
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Minister of Transport Mohamed Lotfy Mansour said around 55,000 railway and metro workers – excluding train drivers – will receive newly decreed bonuses and incentives in the next fiscal year.

The minister s new decree allocates LE 100 for first class workers, LE 75 for second class workers, LE 65 for third class workers and LE 50 for fourth and fifth class workers.

Metro and railway workers will receive 50 percent their incentives by July and the remainder by January 2010, Mansour said.

As for protesting train drivers, Mansour told local press that they were already issued incentives ranging from LE 75 to LE 200 on Jan. 20, and are expected to receive 50 percent of their incentives in the coming days and the remainder by the next fiscal year.

On Thursday, train drivers – who launched a strike earlier this month demanding payment of their allowances – said that they will meet with Minister of Manpower Aisha Abdel Hady and Mansour next month to discuss their grievances.

“A delegation of train drivers met Abdel Hady three days ago and she promised that a meeting would be held with the minister of transport to discuss our demands on Feb. 1 or 2, Essam Abdel Fatah, head of the League of Train Drivers, a trade union body, told Daily News Egypt.

“Members of the Train Drivers Union and the League will attend this meeting, Abdel Fatah added.

On Tuesday Jan. 20, train drivers in Cairo and other parts of Egypt launched a strike in protest at the Egyptian National Railway s failure to uphold its promise to pay them the kilo allowance, a payment based on the number of kilometers traveled.

Drivers ended the strike after a promise that a response to their demands would be issued 10 days subsequently.

A week later, signalmen, switch operators and crossing guardsmen launched a three-hour strike after the administration of the Egyptian National Railway (ENR) reneged on a promise made two days previously to meet and discuss their demands.

The strike was only quelled after a promise was made to respond to workers demands within 48 hours.

This response is expected to be given on Saturday.

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Sarah Carr is a British-Egyptian journalist in Cairo. She blogs at www.inanities.org.
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