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28 Nov 2015

Isabel Esterman & Jano Charbel, Mada Masr [Egypt]

Egypt: Bisco Misr workers still earn less than US$100 per month after Kellogg buyout

"Bisco Misr workers still earn less than US$100 per month after Kellogg buyout", 17 November 2015

When the US Kellogg Company bought a majority stake in local snack maker Bisco Misr in January 2015, the Egyptian company’s shareholders walked away with around US$125 million. The Kellogg Company, in turn, gained a foothold in Egypt’s lucrative consumer foods market. But for the thousands of workers in Bisco Misr’s factories, the deal has proved less profitable. Since being bought out by a multinational, workers say conditions on the factory floor have improved, but wages remain so low that they are unable to pay their bills, have to look for second jobs and have resorted to striking...The labor protests and strike took place among the majority of the company’s workforce in Cairo, of around 1,200 workers. Meanwhile, another 2,200 workers in Alexandria threatened to join the industrial action with the same demand of increased wages,” says Mohamed Shaaban, a local trade union leader at the Bisco Misr company in Cairo...[Kellogg] Company spokesman Philip Dunne confirmed to Mada Masr that they intend to review Bisco Misr salaries in “early 2016,” but did not clarify when a new wage structure might be implemented, or how much workers can expect to be paid...