Geneva – February 6, 2024
The workers at the “Five Stars” mills in the Ataka area of the Suez Governorate, Egypt, staged a sit-in on Sunday, February 4, to protest against the management’s decision to reduce their financial dues. Despite the company’s increased profits attributed to its reliance on overseas exports.
The protesters demanded a wage adjustment in line with inflation-driven price hikes and called for the implementation of internal regulations within the company. They highlighted the absence of a clear framework outlining the rights and responsibilities of employees in a company of such magnitude. Additionally, workers urged the restoration of allowances that were discontinued following the acquisition of the “Five Stars” mills by the “Camel Mills” a few months ago.
Mohamed El Moabar, the CEO of Al Mutatabar Group, the new owner of the company, faced criticism for reducing allowances such as those for holidays, Ramadan, and schools from EGP 5,000 to EGP 1,500. The management’s decision to cancel additional allowances, delay salaries, and contemplate layoffs further fueled the workers’ discontent.
In response to the sit-in, Al-Mutabar resorted to summoning the Manpower Department and National Security to intimidate the workers. However, the workers have steadfastly rejected these attempts to disperse their protest.
Expressing solidarity with the workers, The Committee for Justice (CFJ) called on the company’s management to address the workers’ demands promptly. The committee stressed the importance of establishing fair wages that reflect the added value of the workers’ efforts, contributing to stability in the work environment and increased production rates.
Additionally, the committee urged the cessation of pressure and security threats against the workers, advocating for positive dialogue, adherence to laws, and the development of binding internal regulations as the only viable solutions to the ongoing issues faced by the workers.