Workers from the Tanta Flax and Oils Company continued their sit-in in front of the headquarters of the Cabinet of Ministers in downtown Cairo yesterday. The protesting workers have not received salaries for January and are calling on Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif to solve their dispute with Saudi investor Abdullah al-Kahki, who closed the company and threatened to dismiss the workers.
The 400 protesters said they submitted a memorandum to the prime minister’s office on Tuesday demanding that they be allowed to enter early retirement in return for financial compensation of no less than LE45,000. The workers from Tanta also demanded the payment of their salaries for January and their share of profits since 2005.
The workers said officials from the cabinet promised to respond within two days, but didn’t propose any preliminary solutions
Two members of parliament have been supportive of their demands, the workers said
Abdel Hadi el-Qasabi, member of the Shura Council for the National Democratic Party, offered to allow 170 workers to enter early retirement, but the workers turned down the offer saying they wanted a plan to include all workers, they said
Youssri Bayoumi, a Muslim Brotherhood member of the People’s Assembly, told the workers he was going to ask People’s Assembly Speaker Fathi Sorour to examine their problem immediately.
The protesters called on President Mubarak and his two sons to intervene, chanting slogans like, “Why is the future bleak? Gamal, what are you going to do?” and “Alaa, tell your father the Tanta workers love him.” Protesters also chanted that Prime Minister Nazif is taking Egypt “back to the [King] Farouk era.”