The staff of the BBC Cairo bureau went on a three-day strike on Monday to demand equal pay with their colleagues in the Middle East. The strike comes as Egypt’s economic crisis deepens, making it difficult for many people to make ends meet.
The 75 staff members of BBC Cairo demand to be paid in dollars, similar to their BBC peers in the Middle East region.
Khaled El-Balshy, head of Egypt’s Journalists Syndicate, posted on Facebook that the BBC staff in Egypt consider the disparity in pay as a form of “systematic discrimination.”
The BBC has said that it is aware of Egypt’s economic situation and has been planning to increase salaries by 27% between March and July this year.
A BBC spokesperson said: “We recognise that the economic situation in Egypt is having a significant impact on our staff and we are increasing salaries by 27% between March and July this year to mitigate the levels of high inflation in the country.
“We are disappointed staff have taken strike action and continue to engage with them to find a resolution whilst acting within our market pay policy which is applied consistently across the BBC, globally. BBC News Arabic continues to serve audiences with news and information.”
However, the BBC Cairo staff members say that this is not enough and that they need to be paid in dollars in order to maintain their standard of living.
The strike is set to end on Wednesday, but the staff members have said that they may consider legal action or extend the strike if their demands are not met.
This is not the first time that BBC staff in Cairo have gone on strike over pay. Last month, they held a one-day strike over the same issue.
This comes as Egypt’s currency has lost half of its value in the past year, and inflation is at a record high.