Ministry of Manpower pushes for bigger compensation for dead Aswan Cement workers

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Minister of Manpower Mohamed Saafan said that the compensations given to the families of the three workers from the Aswan Cement company who died last week in a chemical spillover will be raised.

The minister said that the original amount of EGP 250,000 will be raised, and in addition, their family members will be appointed in the company, according to a statement.

The three workers were a technician and two engineers, who died after the spillover. After the deaths, workers protested, demanding the company to implement more safety procedures and to investigate the incident. Several of the workers were arrested for inciting their colleagues to hold a strike, but they were released.

The minister said that a committee will check the safety procedures in the factory, while another will investigate the files of the workers to ensure that each worker has a contract and insurance.

The Democracy Index reported that Egypt saw 244 protests from May 2016 to April 2017, calling for increased wages and access to financial dues. Workers’ strikes resulted in 186 arrests and the suspension of 2,691 workers.

Factories and companies are usually the ones that take the issue to the security forces instead of sorting out the issue peacefully with their employees.

Due to security restrictions, the year 2017 witnessed a decrease of 44% labour movements, as the total number of protests in 2015 and 2016 recorded 1,117, according to the index.

Accusations leveled at workers include hindering work, inciting violence, and unlicensed protest. However, the index referenced that 95% of worker protests were described as being peaceful.

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