By Tamim Elyan
CAIRO: A number of labor leaders and activists from Helwan, Mahalla and Sadat City filed a complaint to Egypt’s Prosecutor General against head of the official Egyptian Trade Union Federation (ETUF), Ismail Fahmy.
The group demanded an investigation into the union’s participation in the International Labor Organization’s general assembly with a delegation of 20 members and 10 journalists, all expenses paid.
They said that the costs of the delegation’s visit exceeded LE 1.5 million and will be paid from the workers’ membership fees since the government reportedly refused to pay for the trip.
“The number of members in the delegation is more than needed. Other delegations are [usually] formed of six or seven members, plus paying the expenses of journalists is financially [irresponsible],” said the complaint they represented.
They demanded taking measures to “stop” damaging the finances and interests of Egyptian workers and investigating the Central Auditing Agency’s reports about actions of the ETUF.
Obligatory fees are deducted from workers’ salaries and the cost of the trip comes amidst dire economic conditions.
Meanwhile around Egypt, workers continue to establish independent trade unions.
Workers and employees at Qena’s Information Centers for Local Development presented Thursday papers of their independent trade union, and are awaiting five governorates to assemble next week.
Qena’s independent trade union is the first for ICLD whose 35,000 employees had repeatedly staged mass protest prior to the January 25 Revolution, demanding better wages and the appointment of employees on temporary contracts.
Six new independent trade unions were announced last week in Qena for 1,200 employees at the Qus education administration, 250 employees at the Upper Egypt Transportation Company, 350 workers at Red Sea touristic cruise ships as well as at HU medicines company, the Water Company and the rural guides of Qena’s health administration.
In Port Said, workers at the free zone formed an independent trade union and chose an executive board.
In Sadat City, four independent trade unions were announced for Mekka and Carpet City companies, Thin Spinning Company, Egyptian-Syrian Spinning Company, Quartet Spinning Company and Prima for ceramics.
In Tenth of Ramadan City, three independent unions were announced for workers at EUROPACK Company, International Textile Company, Evreine Medical Medicines Company.