Employees of the Public Transport Authority (PTA) in Cairo stepped up their strike action of Sunday, with workers at the PTA Bus Garages joining them for the first time.
PTA employees began their industrial action five days ago after the failure of management to meet their demands, said Muhammad Abd al-Sattar Ali, secretary general of the General Union of Independent Union of Public Transport Workers.
The protesters said they would continue the strike until all their demands have been met. They accused the PTA of squandering social insurance funds and granting monthly bonuses of LE8 million to transport police officers.
Hundreds of PTA employees organized a protest outside the cabinet to demand that Prime Minister Essam Sharaf respond to their demands, which include a raise in incentive pay to 200 percent.
Ali told AlMasry AlYoum, “We demand that the prime minister comply with our demands and find solutions, so that this does not turn into a disaster, with all of Egypt’s workers deciding to take to the streets.”
Union Treasurer Abdullah Mahmoud Ibrahim said that public transport drivers consented to bad salaries for the past 30 years, with the former regime always claiming that the state had no money. However, he said that since the revolution it became evident the state had a lot of money, but that officials in the regime were stealing it.
Ibrahim demanded that the government set a timetable to find solutions for the employees’ problems. He pointed out that the officials were only concerned about breaking up the sit-ins rather than finding real solutions.
PTA employee Mohammad Salah said the PTA’s vice-president, Maj. Gen. Hisham Attia, had threatened some PTA drivers and union members with military trials.
Meanwhile, PTA employee Mohamed Tawfik demanded that all the remnants of the defunct National Democratic Party be removed from the PTA.
“They took over the authority 30 years ago, which led to its deterioration, in addition to that of the employees rights.”