By Safaa Abdoun
CAIRO: The military police has arrested five workers at companies affiliated with the Suez Canal Authority on Sunday who have been on strike in Ismalia since June 14.
According to the Center for Trade Union and Worker Services (CTUWS), the military police has summoned the five workers to meet with the military general in order to discuss their demands, only to be arrested in the Galaa Camp.
The five workers are Nasser El Berdessy, Nadia Youssef, Metawei Harb, Mohamed Haggag, and Mahmoud Shaaban.
Workers from seven companies in Ismalia, Suez and Port Said affiliated with the Suez Canal Authority started an open strike on June 14 in protest against the head of the authority, Ahmed Fadel, who refused to implement decisions agreed upon on April 19 with the Minister of Manpower.
These decrees include increasing all workers’ salaries by 40 percent starting June and a bonus of seven percent starting July, as well as forming a committee to restructure wages for all companies under the Suez Canal Authority.
Nationwide during the first half of 2011, there have been 338 sit-ins, 158 strikes, 259 demonstrations and 161 protests by workers, all demanding better working conditions, according to a report by a human rights group.
Awlad Al-Ard Association for Human Rights compiled and analyzed the activities of workers during the first half of 2011, finding that 11,077 workers have been terminated from their jobs while 22 were arrested and referred to military or civil courts.