Real estate tax collectors protest inclusion in govt syndicate

Yasmine Saleh
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Real estate tax collectors vowed to continue the protest they started on Thursday until the Ministry of Finance retracts its decision to include them under the Banks’ Syndicate.

Last April, real estate tax collectors had formed Egypt’s first independent trade union since 1957, 14 months after they forced the government to respond to their demands for better pay.

On Thursday, about 300 employees from the Real Estate Tax Collectors Authority protested against the Ministry of Finance’s decision to include their syndicate’s social fund under the General Syndicate for Banks, Insurance and Finance Employees.

They gathered first in front of the People’s Assembly and then moved to the Ministry of Justice building to join the striking legal specialists, who are demanding better pay and work conditions.

“Our demands are simple and clear, Tarek Mustafa, treasurer of the Real Estate Tax Collectors independent syndicate, told Daily News Egypt. “First, we want our own syndicate that we have already established.

“Secondly we ask the Ministry of Finance to cancel its decree number 425 that it announced on July 28, 2009 indicating that the real estate tax collectors’ employees would join the Banks’ Syndicate.

According to Mustafa, employees in the Real Estate Tax Collectors already have their own syndicate that they established on April 21, 2009, “by their own will as there is no law in Egypt that indicate the we need to have an official approval from any authority including the Ministry of Finance to establish a syndicate.

The Ministry of Finance disagrees.

Mohamed Moeed, advisor to the finance minister, told Daily News Egypt that the Egyptian law does not allow people to set up syndicates on their own and according to their desires; they have to be approved by authorities.

“I ask Real Estate Tax Collectors Authority to read the Egyptian law carefully, he added.

“The employees in Real Estate Tax Collectors Authority are already enrolled in an official syndicate [the banks’ syndicate], and this is the only official syndicate as far as the ministry is concerned, Moeed said.

On the other hand, Mustafa stated that the Real Estate Tax Collectors’ Syndicate held a meeting Friday night to discuss next steps if the Ministry of Finance did not respond to their demands.

According to Moeed, the ministry of finance did not issue any official statement in reaction to this protest.

Moeed said he was unaware of the occurrence of this protest.

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