A strike by train employees has brought all train movement in Egypt’s delta region to a grinding halt since early this morning.
According to the head of the National Railways Authority, Hany Hegab, employees of the Cairo, Alexandria, Zaqaziq and Tanta stations have been sitting on the train tracks, blocking all movement since 10 am Wednesday.
The employees demand better incentives and, according to Hegab, the authority is now in negotiations with the workers to end the strike.
Tuesday railway workers in the governorate of Tanta also held a two-hour protest on the train tracks, demanding better incentives. The protest was dispersed after the railway authority agreed to consider their demands.
Strikes by railway workers are not new to Egypt, with various strikes and protests being held by train conductors and maintanance crews in recent months.
On 23 July train conductors stood on the rail tracks in the Ramses Station in central Cairo after one of their colleagues died when his train crashed into a truck. The drivers also called for an increase in their bonuses.
On 15 June railway employees blocked the tracks in Cairo, Ismailiya, Assiut, Sohag and Aswan because they were not happy with their bonuses.
It’s not always railway employees who block the trains, with protesters in the town of Bani Kora in Assiut, blocking the tracks last April over a spat concerning the delivery of subsidised bread to the town. Also last April, protesters in Qena blocked the governorate’s railway crossing after Prime Minister Essam Sharaf appointed a governor they didn’t approve of.