Cairo: 28 June 2018
The Freedom of Expression for Workers and Social Movements Program declares its full solidarity with the fair and legitimate position of the workers of the National Cement Company in Tebbin / Helwan, who insist on operating the factories and halting the dismissal of workers, after the decision of the holding company to stop work, forcing early retirement and liquidating the company based on the losses.
Yesterday, the workers of the National Cement Company, staged a protest in front of the western port on the Corniche of Helwan in protest against the decisions to stop the factories of the company, forcing employees into early retirement, and cutting down the incentives.
The workers had decided to strike two days ago, but then postponed the decision after the officials promised to bring up the issue to the new Minister of Business Sector to solve it and preserve the workers’ rights.
The National Cement Company is an integrated complex for the construction materials industry in El Tebbin area, south of Helwan, Cairo Governorate, on an area of about 876 feddans.
The company is one of the subsidiaries of the Chemical Industries Company. It was established in 1956 by virtue of the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers. This decision was amended in accordance with the provisions of the Public Sector Companies Law No. 203 of 1991 and its bylaws.
The company claims that it is loosing after the increase in the cost of the product as a result of in the increase in the prices of natural gas, while workers claim that they achieved the planned output target by 112%, and that the losses are not their fault, but because of cases of corruption and illicit gains, which some of those responsible for it are now under investigation.
As for the poor justifications given by the administration regarding the rise in the prices of natural gas, which raised the cost of the product, the workers responded by suggesting to switch to the use of diesel or coal instead of gas, as the company has a diesel line that does not work.
The workers’ protest began for the first time on January 14, 2018, and lasted for one day, and was dismissed after the public sector minister promised to look into running the company, but workers were surprised on February 28 when salaries were reduced by reducing their incentives from 390 % of the basic salary to 75 %, which means that many of them might go to prison for being unable to pay their debts to banks, the workers refused to receive their salaries unless it became as before, so they went on strike again on February 28 until March 8. The workers announced that they would end their strike and resume work after the company promised to operate the furnaces, solve the workers’ problems, and fixing the salaries.
As The Freedom of Expression for Workers and Social Movements Program declares its support for the legitimate demands of the workers of the National Cement Company, it calls for the preservation of this economic entity.