CAIRO: Over 400 people demonstrated for minimum wages near cabinet headquarters in Downtown Cairo amid heavy riot police presence.
Protestors tried to break through the barrier set by riot police but were unable to because police received more reinforcements.
Protestors were calling upon the government to respond to a court order obliging it to put in place a minimum wage in line with the cost of living. Early last month, protestors left a copy of the court order at the cabinet building, giving the government one month to implement it.
Khaled Ali, the director of the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights which had won the minimum wage case, reiterated what he said a month earlier that workers would continue to protest until the verdict is implemented.
On Sunday, he said that if the government doesn’t respond, workers will resort to a civil protest: a strike in June.
Representatives of the April 6 Youth Movement, Al-Karama Party and the Kefaya Movement for Change were present at the protest, among other activists and members of socialists groups.
Workers from different Egyptian governments were also present at the Cairo protest.
Reda Noaman works for the real estate tax authority in Gharbia and has four children. He says that after 20 years of working at the authority he earns LE 350.
“I challenge any of the officials to put themselves in my place and live on the salary that I earn for one month,” he said.
He has to supplement his income by working as a carpenter in the afternoon.
Hussein Sorour, from Atlas Contractors, earns LE 150 a month. He said that the government responds to pressure not negotiations.
Egyptian workers sit by a mock coffin that represents the income of the Egyptian farmers as written on it, during a sit in protest to demand their government reevaluate the "national minimum wages system" in front of the Egyptian parliament headquarters in Cairo, Egypt Sunday, May 2, 2010. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)