Project-based workers at SUMED Company began a strike on Saturday, demanding permanent work contracts and better working conditions.
The workers, employed at SUMED’s branch in the Sidi Kreir District of Alexandria, began the strike after the company fired their contractor and referred them to a contracting company. The workers refused to accept working for the contracting company, which they believed may fire them.
Dalia Moussa, workers’ issues officer at the Centre for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), explained that SUMED requires project-based workers for some of their projects. Those workers are recruited by a contractor or a contracting company, which means they can be fired at any time as they are not contracted with SUMED.
“SUMED fired the contractor and agreed with a new contracting company, Petroment,” Moussa said. “Petroment delegated the workers’ issues to another company, Sub Sea. The workers are afraid that SUMED might terminate the contract with Petroment anytime and then another contracting company might take its place and fire them all.”
Workers demanded the dismissal of SUMED’s CEO Abdo Saeed, and gave the company two choices regarding their contracts: either to issue permanent contracts for the workers with a state-owned contracting company, or to issue workers permanent contracts with SUMED itself.
Tala’at Abdel Raouf, one of the striking workers, said he has been working for the company for 14 years and yet still faces the danger of being fired at any time. “We are only looking for better work conditions, and we gave the company two options to achieve that.”
Abdel Raouf stated that the strikers will not go back to work until their demands are met.