Socialist Worker

Egypt: Poisoned by their bosses and then denied their pay

by Coordinating Committee for the Defence of Trade Union and Workers’ Rights in Egypt
Issue No. 1930

WORKERS EMPLOYED by the Egyptian-Spanish Company for Asbestos Products in Cairo began a sit-in at the company on Saturday 20 November.

They are protesting over the failure of the company to pay them their wages for September and October.

Company managers had insisted on the use of asbestos—a substance extremely dangerous to the health and lives of workers.

The workers had responded by successfully campaigning to enforce a decree demanding the closure of the company until all necessary industrial safety measures were taken.

The campaign had forced the parliamentary health committee to recommend the closure of all asbestos companies and to impose a ban on imports of asbestos. But the company took revenge on workers by refusing to pay them their wages.

Some 46 of the company’s workers suffer from asbestosis, and eight workers out of 90 at the company have died as a result of exposure to asbestos.

Since the remainder of the workers have refused to die of asbestosis, the company owner wants them to die of hunger by depriving them of their wages.

The Egyptian General Trade Union for Engineering Industries is pretending to be unaware of what is happening and has not supported the workers.

The asbestos workers have invited other groups to send delegations to their factory to support their sit-in.

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Sat 4 Dec 2004, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1930
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