Alexandria’s Court of Misdemeanours has sentenced five workers from the Alexandria Container & Cargo Handling Company to three years in jail each for inciting a labour strike, the Egyptian Democratic Labour Congress – comprised of over 271 independent labour unions – reported on Monday.
In March, dock workers staged a strike to demand the removal of the company’s board of directors, members of which they accused of corruption. Striking workers also demanded that the docks on which they worked be returned to the custodianship of the state after having been leased to Chinese and other foreign port-services companies.
The chairman of the company’s board of directors, for his part, had earlier filed a lawsuit against the striking workers, in which he accused them – and the independent union’s administrative board – of inciting workers to strike, wasting public funds and disrupting work.
A lawyer for the workers, meanwhile, had requested that prosecutors commission an engineering committee from Alexandria University to examine – and verify, if it could – the alleged damages cited in the lawsuit, insisting that the company had falsely accused workers of sabotage.
The accused workers – Ahmed Sadek, Yousri Maaruf, Ashraf Ibrahim, Mohamed Abdel Moneim and Essam El-Din Mohamed Mabrouk – were all sentenced by the court in abstentia.