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Egypt: Security forces disperse protesting workers at Egyptian Fertilizers Company (EFC) and Egyptian Basic Industries Corporation (EBIC)

Workers arrested as police disperse fertilizer company protests, Tanta Flax workers call off sit-in, 5 December 2015

Security forces were deployed early on Monday morning to the town of Ain al-Sokhna to disperse sit-ins involving around 1,000 workers at the Egyptian Fertilizers Company (EFC) and the Egyptian Basic Industries Corporation (EBIC), both owned by billionaire Nassif Sawiris. Dozens of protesting workers were briefly detained in the crackdown, with two remaining in police custody. Suez-based trade unionist and regional labor organizer Saud Omar told Mada Masr that security forces initially arrested a large number of workers during the sit-in, but later released them, with the exception of Mohamed Hashim and Yasser Geneidy, who were referred to the district prosecutor pending investigations. Security forces arrested two other workers, Hossam Mohamed and Mohamed Nassar, last week. District prosecutors ordered the extension of their detention by 15 days on Sunday, pending investigation into charges of inciting workers to strike.The industrial action started 15 days ago, with workers demanding higher wages in light of the flotation and devaluation of the Egyptian pound … Workers began protests and strikes after company administrators deducted some of their bonuses, and workers’ grievances increased after the government’s decision to float the Egyptian Pound against the US Dollar early last month.

[BHRRC invited the companies to respond but has not yet received a response]