Nurses in Upper Egypt strike over minimum wage

Tens of nurses in the public Manflout Hospital in Assiut in Upper Egypt struck Wednesday to protest management’s refusal to pay them 200% bonus on their basic salaries, which was promised by the government last spring to all government employees to push wages up to LE700 per month.

Egyptian workers have organised a wave of strikes to raise wages and living standards since the January 25 revolution began.

In the last few weeks, doctors, teachers and public transportation workers stopped work across different parts of the country over minimum wage and benifits issues.

“We work for long hours in the hospital including night shifts for a very low salary,” said nurse Israa Ali.

“We have repeatedly asked for a 200 per cent bonus [to bring their wages up to the LE700 minimum promised by the government] and the authorities didn’t respond so we decided to begin this strike.”

Another nurse in the hospital, Yasmine Mohamed, said that the nurses also want a higher compensation for risk of infection, and the right to elect the head of the nursing department.

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